When Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva, it was one of the greatest upsets in the company’s modern history.
Yes, a lot of fighters predicted Weidman would win, but no one could have predicted he’d do it with a dramatic, flashy and out-of-nowhere knockout. Silva was clowning and he paid the price for it.
At UFC 168, Silva will get another chance at Weidman, and a chance to prove his historic loss was a fluke. Can he do it? Only he knows, but it would be foolish to count him out . Just a few months ago, everyone was calling him the Greatest Of All Time.
No one is underestimating Weidman anymore, but here’s why he should be careful not to believe the hype and be ready for a dangerous Silva.
Silva is a fighter and no fighter likes to get knocked out. The Brazilian won 16 straight fights and racked up 10 straight title defenses before Weidman KO’d him. After his historic streak, Silva didn’t want to go out like that. Silva probably could have accepted it if he were knocked out or submitted in a fight where he gave his best, but that’s not what happened. Weidman caught him while he was goofing off and no champion wants to go out like that. Silva wants revenge against the guy who stopped his streak and stripped him of his pound-for-pound best title. Silva badly wants to show the world that he’s still the best mixed martial artist of all time and any man that determined is dangerous.
4. He’s Still Anderson Silva
There’ s no way you go from being the greatest of all time, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world to washed up over night. Silva still has a lot to offer. He’s a dangerous striker. He’ a black belt in Jiu-Jitsu. He’s one of the best counter-punchers in the business. With the exception of a disqualification loss, Silva was undefeated since 2004. He’s a dangerous all-around fighter and any man would be foolish to underestimate him. Silva probably won the first round against Weidman and Weidman looked frustrated before he caught Silva with a punch. Weidman should remember that had Silva not attempted to get funny inside the cage, the outcome of their July fight likely would have been much different.
3. He Woke A Sleeping Tiger
It’s tough to stay hungry when you are never challenged. Silva was so dominant for so long that through much of his run he probably started to take his victories for granted. He probably just expected that he would keep winning easily. But now that he’s been reminded that he’s just a mortal man, expect him to have a greater appreciation for winning. We know he’s capable of bouncing back. After Chael Sonnen beat him for four rounds and nearly took his title, Silva ended up submitting him in the fifth round. Then, in the rematch, he knocked Sonnen out in the second round. He wanted to clearly prove that he was better than Sonnen. Silva is going to come out with an entirely different game plan this time. It’s very likely that Silva is hungry again and he will be looking to make Weidman his main meal.
2. Quick Rematch Benefits Silva
At the end of the day Silva is 38 years old. He’s not getting any younger. Weidman is 29. If Silva was going to have a good shot at winning back the title, his chances are greater in December than next July. Silva has a chance to make everyone forget what happened last July and end the year the same way he began it, as champion. He will be fueled by the fact that he has a chance to quickly right his wrongs. Weidman could have asked for a different fight to frustrate Silva and make him wait longer, but he didn’t. Now he has to fight the greatest mixed martial artists of the last 10 years, twice within six months.
1. Silva Will Be At His Absolute Best
Don’t expect Silva to clown around. He’s not going to dance or fake fall like Ric Flair. He’s going to be the old Silva, the one that at his best was untouchable. Can Weidman handle the same Anderson Silva who knocked out Chael Sonnen, Stephan Bonnar, Forrest Griffin and Vitor Belfort? That’s probably the Silva we will see. It’s going to be tough for Weidman to get motivated to beat a guy he essentially knocked out with one punch. Will he be expecting the same easy night? Silva is more motivated than ever to turn back the clock and earn the respect that he once had. Weidman will have to fight better than he did in the first fight if he expects to beat Silva twice.