Chris Weidman dismantled another top middleweight last night when he beat Mark Munoz by second round TKO at UFC on Fuel TV 4.
Weidman now stands as one of the possible fighters to be the next contender for Anderson Silva's crown after Chael Sonnen lost this past weekend at UFC 148.
Weidman possesses many of the same skillsets as Sonnen and definitely could fulfill the blueprint that Sonnen laid out for beating Silva.
Can Weidman figure out the enigma that is Silva's striking? Can Weidman get the fight to the ground? Who is better in the areas of striking, grappling, wrestling and jiu-jitsu? Read on to find out!
Anderson Silva is one of the top strikers in all of MMA if not the top striker in the sport.
Silva knows how to make you miss and then capitalize while you're not ready. Silva works everything—kicks, punches, elbows. Whatever kind of strike you can think of, Silva utilizes it in the ring.
He is so good in fact, that he can drop his hands and dodge out of the way like he isn't trying. His win over Forrest Griffin is the best display of this mastery of striking defense that it made Griffin look like he was moving through quicksand.
Then you look at the Yushin Okami fight or the Vitor Belfort fight and see even more ways Silva can beat you with his striking.
The definite edge to me is Silva. Weidman is getting better, though, but to put him in a tier with Silva isn't doable.
This is just a skill that Silva has developed over a very long career. A skill that makes him a nightmare for contenders like Weidman.
All you need to do is watch either fight with Rich Franklin to see how good Anderson Silva is in the clinch. Even the Leben fight can give you a tiny glimpse into what his clinch would become.
When you get to it and the fight gets that close, if you're fighting Silva, you're kind of doomed. Silva knows how to finish fighters from the clinch and will do so if given the chance.
Here is your obvious statement of the day!
Weidman is by far the better wrestler in this matchup. Weidman is a two-time All-American wrestler from Hofstra University.
Silva's weakness is his wrestling and boy, does Weidman get a huge advantage here.
Weidman can take you down and hold you there. Unlike Sonnen though, Weidman throws harder punches from the top.
No question the edge in wrestling goes to the Division I All-American wrestler.
Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu for Silva, purple belt for Weidman.
This one was honestly pretty close to me, I think Weidman has a pretty good grappling background and credentials. If I had to grade on overall grappling the edge would be in Weidman's favor.
But splitting up into two, Silva gets the edge in jiu-jitsu. I think his black belt under the Nogueira brothers beats Weidman's purple belt and ADCC tournament appearances.
Silva has submitted people in the past, most notably Dan Henderson, Travis Lutter and of course, the now infamous "Hail Mary" Chael Sonnen submission.
Silva is pretty dangerous with his submission skills.
Got to give the edge to Silva here. It is pretty close to me though.
In the end we've said many times before: "This guy could definitely beat Anderson Silva!" How many times has that proven to be true?
The man is just an absolute freak of nature and finds any possible way to win. I think Silva's striking wins out here and eventually gets the knockout win. The fight does start standing after all.
Weidman does have a good chance to win though. I actually would put his chances better than I would have for Sonnen. I think his ground-and-pound is much more effective than Sonnen and if the fight gets the ground he will give Silva more trouble. Plus, I'm pretty sure Weidman knows how to avoid and escape a triangle choke.
Weidman might win the first two rounds or just the first round, but once Silva figures him out it'll be over before we know it. You never want to give Silva time to figure you out. Once that second round starts, Silva is some sort of monster.
Final Tally: Silva 3, Weidman 1
Prediction: Silva by third-round TKO