Fights that manage to break through the inner circles of the MMA world, effectively transcending in to the upper atmospheres of the mainstream, are the ones that become truly memorable. When celebs from other sports and entertainment mediums are pictured sitting cage side, or talking about the sport in general, these moments allude to the UFC’s ability to take the MMA world and place it next to the other top sporting events.
Aside from superfights, big rematches for coveted golden belts are the next best thing the sport has to offer. In the case of UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman and Heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, they both have big rematches on their hands soon. In Velasquez’s case, he’s got to beat the man who took his belt in the first place by way of a brutal TKO. Weidman was able to take the belt from the greatest fighter in the world in Anderson Silva. But to adequately defeat the man, he must kill his legend in a rematch for the ages.
Both fights promise to be transcendent in nature. But for the sake of tireless and borderline narcissistic analysis, who’s got a better chance at taking back the belt between Junior Dos Santos at UFC 166, and then at UFC 168 in December, Anderson Silva?
Looking at the skill sets of both former champs, along with the way they were finished, and have finished former opponents in their past performances, it’s difficult to break down who’s got the edge respectively in both fights and yet, not impossible.
Anderson Silva has the most impressive record of the two men. Yet, that might be in part because of their place in their careers, not their current level of talent. Silva may be at the end of his career, all his wins were great for what they meant for him at the time, yet may have taken their toll on him over the years unfortunately.
Where Silva must fight a young and athletic opponent in Weidman who is undefeated, JDS has already beaten the man who took his belt, and just as definitively as Weidman took out Silva, if not more so.
If JDS can figure out a way to tighten up his wrestling defense, that might be all he needs to do to take back the gold. Anderson Silva wasn’t exactly outclassed though, like JDS was in his last title appearance.
Silva was apparently joking around back stage after he lost to Weidman at UFC 162 about how he would take his belt back, implying that he simply didn’t take the fight seriously enough. If all he needs to do is show up with a clear mind and focused intent, then he would have the least difficult task between the two of them.
All in all, I believe JDS has the most legitimate chance of dethroning his arch rival in Cain Velasquez, than Silva does against Weidman. Where JDS is in his prime, Silva clearly isn’t. While JDS is riding a win in to his trilogy fight with the champ, Silva is riding his first one fight losing streak since he stepped in to the Octagon for the first time against Chris Leben, back in 2006.
Either way, both fights will further the sport more than anything else scheduled in the next six months.