The middleweight title picture is about as jumbled as can be right now, but when the dust clears and everything resettles, I expect Weidman to emerge as the division's top contender.
Cases could be made for Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Alan Belcher or Tim Boetsch, but none of those guys have Weidman's athleticism, unlimited ceiling and outstanding ground-fighting abilities.
Of course, once Weidman navigates through the contender's gauntlet, all he'll have won is a match with Anderson Silva, and that's where the real hard work will begin.
Weidman will position himself to fight Silva for the title in 2013, and while it's become a cliche to say so of Silva's opponents, he'll pose the biggest threat the champion has ever had to deal with.
It may be difficult for fans to buy into the Weidman hype at this point, given how many times we've been burned before with Silva-challengers, but he will prove to be the real deal before long.
Can Weidman defeat Silva if (when) the two fight next year? Of course he can. But Silva can also beat Weidman.
Before going further down that road it is worth contemplating just how Silva's age fits into the equation. Anytime this topic is brought up, otherwise logical and sane people begin foaming at the mouth, shouting (or writing in caps) about how he isn't slowing down yet, and how Silva is the sole human being to have sidestepped to degenerative affects of growing old.
To those people I must display my ignorance and go ahead and say it: One of these times Silva will enter the Octagon and he will have lost a step. It happens that quick.
So, if Silva decides to call it quits before Father Time gets to work, the belt will be up for grabs. At that point, Weidman becomes the favorite to win it.
Then there's the alternative—Weidman dethroning Silva in the Octagon. Again, just the mention of Silva possibly losing is enough to send a vast number of people into fits. Still, the possibility exists, and it will never have been higher than when he takes on Weidman.
So, whether he takes it directly or inherits the middleweight crown at a later date, Chris Weidman will be the man to succeed Silva as the 185 kingpin.