2013 was an absolute blockbuster of a year for MMA; first off we got to see some incredible displays of heart and courage; leading to 3/5 round wars that had us on the edge of our seats. Neck cranking, arm snapping, knee-popping submissions had the more squeamish fans cringing. The knockouts were fast, hard and accurate, especially in the case of Vitor Belfort.
Over at ESPN.com they have been mulling over who should pick up the fight/KO/sub and fighter of the year awards, and I’m not surprised to see UFC Middleweight boss Chris Weidman walk away with some awards. ‘The All American’ bagged fighter and knockout of the year for his back-to-back wins over Anderson Silva at UFC 162/168.
Check out what Weidman had to say about receiving the honors:
“I did beat the greatest of all time, twice, I think that’s pretty good. Other guys had more fights than me but I fought as much as I could and I only had big fights. They were some of the biggest fights of the year.”
“He fought the greatest twice and beat him twice,” said Weidman’s coach and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra. “Dude can’t catch a break. He beats him the first time and it’s ‘Oh, Anderson was joking around. “This time, they’re calling it a freak thing. No. He checked the kick. He did the right move. I think he should get more credit. I think he’s being picked on.”
Other candidates for the fighter of the year award were Urijah Faber, Demetrious Johnson, Vitor Belfort and Robbie Lawler. There was never going to be much of a contest when you consider the magnitude of Weidman’s achievements. Whether you feel there is doubt in the results, Weidman has done what no other man has before him.
Two stoppage wins on the trot against ‘The Spider’ would probably have come in at 5000-1 a few years back, maybe even last year; but things change. Weidman has made his name in the sport, and just the way he said he would. A win over Belfort could prove to be the ignition point of an awesome legacy.
Photo credit USA TODAY SPORTS