Chris Weidman bulldozed a juggernaut on Wednesday—Mark Munoz. That colossal feat warrants attention.
Weidman fights in a division where contenders are sparse. Merited by his thrashing of Munoz, the New Yorker stratified himself as a threat to snatch Anderson Silva’s long-worn middleweight belt.
Why? Because his game is uniquely adaptable.
Weidman showcased masterful grappling against Munoz, as he ragdolled the Filipino and sliced through his guard like a katana through a kitten.
As per UFC.com, “The All-American” matted Munoz twice, passed his guard three times, and attempted two submissions.
Munoz and Weidman both own stellar wrestling pedigrees, adding luster to Weidman’s performance. He did that to a hardened wrestler?
We know Chael Sonnen is the premiere wrestler at 185. Weidman garners comparison to the Oregonian. In fact, the whippersnapper could be a thornier challenge for Anderson Silva than Sonnen. Weidman has more tools.
The stats howl: Weidman has finished 13 takedowns in the UFC. Conversely, he hasn’t been grounded once. His takedown defense is in the same league as Jon Jones, who also hasn't hit the mat against his will.
Weidman employs an arsenal of submissions. The blossoming grappler has sunk three foes by way of tap out. He’s latches onto chokes from the clinch, scrambles, and top control with regularity.
He also eludes submissions, verifying the legitimacy of his Brazilin Jiu-Jitsu purple belt under Matt Serra.
Weidman imposes his will with tact and vigor. His use of positional Jiu-Jitsu is a marvel.
Some grapplers are plagued by their ineffectual ground and pound, but Weidman channels Donkey Kong when he barrages grounded opponents. His punches and elbows bring thunder, yet another trait that separates Weidman from the field.
Many wrestlers wing punches to open up their takedowns, and that’s the extent of their striking game. Not Weidman. He uses clean, effective striking techniques, as evidenced by his elbow strike counter that sent Mark Munoz tumbling towards the canvas. Any doubts of his ability to finish a fight standing were evaporated.
Weidman isn’t immaculate: His clumsy match with Demian Maia showed his gas tank may be shallow. The American did, however, take that fight on short notice.
If Chael Sonnen gave Anderson Silva fits, what can Weidman do? With his youth and skill set handy, Weidman could surely provide worthy opposition to the awe-inspiring champ.
Honorable mention for well-roundedness at 185: Michael Bisping, Alan Belcher, Hector Lombard, Anderson Silva, and Rich Franklin.