UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman successfully defended his middleweight title last weekend (Saturday May 23rd, 2015) with a stunning first round finish over Vitor Belfort. The TKO victory put to rest the beef between ‘The Phenom’ and ‘The All-American’ and served as a silencer to many Weidman doubters. Still there people on the fence about the champion’s legitimacy, even after defeating Anderson Silva twice and Lyoto Machida.

This is not an unfamiliar occurrence in MMA, as the soirt proves time and time again it’s the toughest place in the world to prove yourself. UFC President Dana White acknowledges that there are still many critics of the middleweight boss, but compares Weidman’s reign to that of Anderson Silva while talking to UFC.com:

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“It takes time. You look at Anderson Silva and how long it took for him to even resonate. He really blew up after he beat Vitor, so maybe Vitor is the launching pad for all these guys.”

‘The Spider’ had an incredible run of form during his record breaking streak in the UFC, racking up sixteen straight wins during his time as the most dominant middleweight. I’d argue that Silva really hit the big time with his awesome knockout of Forrest Griffin; it was all really up from there for Silva, although it wouldn’t be long until Weidman came along and knocked the champ off his perch and out of consciousness.

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Only really Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre could be considered as dominant (perhaps) as Silva was, but White says he feels that Weidman’s current streak is comparable:

“He’s on a Jon Jones-type run right now in the 185-pound division,” White said. “The thing is with Jon Jones is that he went four years taking out all the best 205-pounders in the world. Weidman is beating straight killers right now.”

Truly Luke Rockhold will likely be a much bigger test than a deflated and under-TRT’d Vitor Belfort will ever be, but will Chris Weidman get the respect he deserves if he beats ‘Rocky”’? I think whatever the case, the Serra-Longo sensations will keep going out and displaying the grit and heart of a champion, even if he doesn’t get all the recognition for it.

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Although, I think it may be a little early for Jon Jones comparisons….

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