It’s not unrealistic to believe Chris Weidman will be the first UFC fighter to defeat Anderson Silva at UFC 162 in July. When Silva said in an interview recently that this fight was good for Weidman, but not for him, what he meant to say was this: I could lose.
Deny this truth, unlike any opponent Silva has fought in the past, no one has witnessed the ceiling of Weidman’s potential. He hasn’t lost a fight in his career, or even shown a shred of weakness in any specific area in his fight game.
He’s beaten everyone put in front of him. Sure he might find himself out cold in less than a month, but who really knows what he’s capable of or who’s capable of beating him?
He’s outclassed everyone in his division that has been put before him with more than muscle and athleticism. The way he caught Mark Munoz rushing in for a take down, with a perfectly timed downward elbow, is proof that Silva may have more than a fighter with a strong wrestling pedigree on his hands.
At least from how I see it, Weidman is the first true contender to fight Silva in years. That is unless Chael Sonnen and Stephan Bonnar are considered contenders of course.
Even Yushin Okami barely deserved a shot at the time when he fought Silva in August 2011. Then there was the string of fights before that, where Silva simply toyed with talent that was definitely not deserving of title shots.
James Irvin (lightheavyweight bout), Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Forrest Griffin (light heavyweight bout), and Demian Maia, were all sub-par competition comparatively from where Weidman stands. So even though Weidman has been injured for a year or so, Silva may have cage rust from the shear lack of talent he’s faced in his division.
I hope Silva wins. Infact, it’s more accurate to say I hope he never loses. But when he does lose, it’s going to be someone like Chris Weidman that takes his belt away. Not the hype machines of Sonnen and Griffin types.
Here’s five reasons why you shouldn’t count out Weidman on July 6th in Vegas at UFC 162. (no pun intended: the highlight video below shows his five UFC wins in chronological order).
#1. Chris Weidman has never lost a fight.
Look at Weidman’s record, watch all his fights, and one thing becomes very clear, very fast. There is no way to tell how far this man can go. He may be the next P4P king. No one will know until he tangles with the champ.
#2. Weidman is hands down more talented than Silva’s past opponents.
Silva may wind up being too much for the young contender, but if Weidman can be slightly better than Silva’s past competition (which is guaranteed by the way), then he might be able to find a way to throw the champ off just enough to clip him, or steal a decision.
#3. Dare I say it, he can wrestle.
I think it’s an overly dramatized plot point these days when talking about an opponent of Anderson Silva’s and giving him the edge simply because he can wrestle. Silva is not scared of wrestlers, and it just so happens that for someone who isn’t one, he holds the record for second place at STOPPING takedowns (fightmetric.com), not succumbing to them.
But if Weidman has something going for him that others in his division have struggled with, it’s a very strong well rounded skillset that allows him to change up his game plan at will, shocking his opponents and throwing them off any preconceived offensive strategy.
#4. Father time.
Silva is not getting any younger, and at some point, someone is going to be just a tad too spry for the legendary Anderson Silva to hang with. It will be a sad day for all mixed martial arts fans.
It’s not every day a legend walks the earth. Of course it’s not every day that a legend falls either. So when Weidman gets in the cage, his ability to turn this thing in to an ugly ordeal, might work in his favor.
There really isn’t any incentive for Silva in this fight. He’s even said it himself. This is a good situation for Weidman and not for him.
For Silva, it’s a low profile fight yet it’s got his legacy on the line. For Weidman, it’s a shot at the middle weight championship of the world, and the greatest fighter of all time.
If anyone is going to be loose and ready when the cage shuts, it’s going to be Weidman. He’s still got to go out there and take it from him, but with a massive amount of pressure riding on the champ’s shoulders, this one is Silva’s to lose, not Weidman’s to win.