To the surprise of many, Chris "The All-American" Weidman (8-0) entered the Octagon at UFC on Fox 2 holding the slight advantage in the Vegas betting lines.
Weidman was set to take on the toughest opponent of his career in Demian Maia (15-4), who was believed to be one of the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artists in the world.
However, it was Weidman who stole the show early, controlling action from his feet and out-striking the improved stand-up of Maia.
In an evenly exchanged first round, Weidman capitalized on a takedown that allowed him to secure Round 1. The pace continued into the second frame where Weidman once again put Maia on his back and began to plug away at the Brazilian native.
By the midpoint of Round 2, both Weidman and Maia were clearly gasping for air as their 185-pound showdown turned into slow motion right before our eyes on national television. However, Weidman wasn't to be blamed as he took their bout with an 11-day notice, ultimately resulting in a cut of approximately 30 pounds.
Despite the cut, Weidman still managed to take Maia down four times and maintain a comfortable position on his feet.
Weidman would go on to win via unanimous decision, proving to the world he's the next best thing in the middleweight division.
Many now believe Weidman to be quickly approaching the top of the 185-pound rankings due to his success on a week and a half's time.
Not only is Weidman one of the better wrestlers in his respected division, but he's proven to be tough-minded with an iron chin.
At 27 years old, Weidman will certainly need to improve in his stand-up and quiet possibly his conditioning, but with the current pace he's on, there's no reason why Weidman won't be wearing UFC gold at some point in his career.
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