The date was July 6th of this year and the place, the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada; the event, Anderson Silva’s middleweight title defense, his first in a year, and as against the undefeated challenger Chris Weidman; the price, $50 on pay-per-view.
Silva entered the ring as his old confident self and Weidman stood across the ring seemingly unmoved or intimidate by his presence.
The outcome of the fight is now infamous. On the one hand it is heralded and praised, by both Weidman’s fans and Silva’s detractors, alike. On the other hand, Silva’s fans scoff at the matches result, believing that Silva clowned his way through the match and paid for it. In essence, that Silva, more or less, handed Weidman the win. Accordingly, “The Spider’s” devoted fans declare that second time through Silva will prove Weidman’s win a fluke and that he’ll T/KO his opponent upon their second meeting.
In review of the fight, Silva’s fans may be right, but then again they may be wrong, too.
Silva looked crisp and very loose through the fight (rounds one & two) and was throwing some blistering kicks that must surely have been hurting Weidman. To the point, Silva’s fans will argue that Weidman was lucky on his punch and that if he’s not lucky again, or he can’t get Silva off of his feet, that the champ will lay Weidman low and reclaim his title on the 28th of this month.
Where Silva fans might be wrong would be that Weidman’s punch was lucky and that Silva lost, because he was clowning around.
To Weidman’s fans, they’d tell you that he hit Silva with a punch that he had been trained for. Weidman’s boxing coach, Ray Longo, would agree; no luck involved. Further Chris’s fans would say that Silva wasn’t clowning at all, but rather putting on another one of his masterful performances. The only problem was that he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. That he weaved, when he should have bobbed.
In watching the fight again, it’s really hard not to argue all the points. Silva looked great, there’s no two ways about it and his fans had nothing to complain of. He looked on point, and from the moment of getting back to his feet in the first, to the moment that he got knocked out in the second, Weidman’s fans were on the edge of their seats waiting for the hammer to be lowered on Chris. However and as we all know, that didn’t happen.
Can Silva win the rematch and his title back at UFC 168? Yes.
However, Weidman fans know that, as does Chris and his camp and they’re still not intimidated. Weidman will go into this fight not with a win, but an edge. On some level he must be in Silva’s head and that might be the only additional advantage Weidman needs to win the sequel bout, and retain his title.
That said, should Silva win the match, no one, including Chris and his fans should be surprised. He is a master of stand-up, timing and execution and a wizard baiting his opponents. He’s a three card monte game on the feet and as Weidman is the only one that’s ever found the queen, it will be interesting to see if he can find it again on the 28th.
Don’t forget, the fight is available on pay-per-view at a charge of $55.