Chris Weidman’s rise to fame has been swift and overwhelming. He is the UFC Middleweight champion and ESPN’s 5th ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world, surprising accolades given that Weidman wasn’t competing professional five years ago.
He is an all-around sound fighter whose wrestling background deceives opponents into preparing for a ground battle; ultimately leading to a submission or knockout. After all, only three of the undefeated fighter’s victories have gone to decision, all unanimously in Weidman’s favor.
The New York native’s resume only lists 10 fights, but the manner in which they were won gives Weidman credibility. Here are Weidman’s top five most significant matches over the last four years.
#5 Chris Weidman vs. Reubem Lopes (Ring of Combat 23)
Weidman’s MMA debut follows the formula that garners him success in the UFC: he begins aggressively and immediately takes the fight to the ground. While the victory is not as flashy many he delivers later in his career, the submission hints at Weidman’s well-rounded game.
#4 Chris Weidman vs. Uriah Hall (Ring of Combat 31)
Facing established fighter Uriah Hall is the first big test in Weidman’s young career. He wins the ROC Middleweight championship with a flurry of combos that Hall can’t defend and subsequently defends the title two months later.
3. Chris Weidman vs. Jesse Bongfeldt (UFC 131)
In only his second fight with the UFC, Weidman gives MMA one of its most memorable endings in recent memory. His standing guillotine of Jesse Bongfedt at UFC 131 earned Weidman Submission of the Night honors and runs his MMA record to 6-0.
2. Chris Weidman vs. Mark Munoz (UFC on FuelTV 4)
One can consider this the turning point in Weidman’s career. The knockout of Mark Munoz catapulted Weidman into top contender status and set up a title match with UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva the following summer. While many questioned whether he was ready to face the champion, Weidman removed all doubt at UFC 162.
1. Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva (UFC 162)
A 2-1 underdog heading into UFC 162’s main event, Weidman shocked the world less than two minutes into the second round. Weidman caught Silva with a left hook on the chin, grounding the champion. He is the only fighter to have knocked Silva out in an MMA match and snapped “The Spider’s” 17 fight winning streak. With a rematch set for Dec. 28, Weidman looks to prove that his initial victory was not a fluke.