As soon as UFC referee Herb Dean waived the fight off, signaling the official TKO of Anderson Silva, MMA fans were already calling for a rematch. Many felt that Weidman had gotten lucky. This Saturday, the long awaiting rematch will finally take place at UFC 168. Silva has an opportunity to get his UFC middleweight belt back, and Weidman has an opportunity to show that the first win was no fluke. Let’s take a closer look at these fighters, and then I’ll make my fight pick. One more correct pick and I’ll be 9-1 for my last 10 picks.
Anderson Silva was considered by many to be the best pound for pound MMA fighter in the world. That is, until his loss. But, most still believe that the loss to Weidman was a fluke and was mostly a result of Silva’s clowning, more than Weidman’s skill.
I must admit, when I first saw the fight, I thought Weidman got lucky. As I looked at it again, I can see Weidman had an excellent strategy. He stayed in the pocket and wasn't distracted by the clowning. I had also forgotten that Weidman had dominant position in the first round and was landing shots until he went for the knee bar and lost position.
Silva is an MMA legend. He comes into this fight with an overall MMA record of 33-5. Included in his wins are 20 KO/TKO’s and 6 submissions. Before the Weidman loss, Silva had racked up 16 UFC wins in a row. His last four title defenses, before facing Weidman, had all ended in either a KO or TKO.
Obviously, Anderson Silva has an MMA toolbox filled with everything necessary to be the greatest MMA fighter ever, but father time might have caught up with him. Two of his most used tools, speed and reaction time, failed to be as sharp as usual in the Weidman loss.
Chris Weidman is a tough, hard nosed MMA fighter with a great wrestling base and power in his punches. His fearless strategy, staying in the pocket and attacking, worked perfectly to snatch the UFC middleweight belt from Anderson Silva.
Chris Weidman is now 10-0 with 4 KO/TKO’s and 3 submissions. Those wins have not been against cans either; they’ve been agains the top fighters in the division. Weidman is a skilled fighter, has shown no fear, and even though he’s now the champion, he’s hungry to prove to the world that getting that title was no fluke!
Anderson Silva is now 38 years old. As we all know, speed and reaction time are the first to go. Silva’s fighting style cannot be successful at the highest levels with those two physical attributes diminished or dulled in any way. Weidman had a great strategy in the first fight, and I believe he has the blueprint to beat Silva again.
Look for Weidman to be aggressive and push the pace in this fight. He’ll fatigue Silva and then find an opening to take Silva to the mat and utilize some ground and pound. Silva will not be able to regain the belt and another loss will be Silva’s reason to ride off into the sunset as one of the greatest ever. Weidman has already taken the belt, and at UFC 168 he’ll prove to the world he’s the rightful owner.
Check out the Countdown to UFC 168 video: