Chris Weidman is a scary, scary dude.
The two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler shocked the MMA world when he defeated veteran fighter Alessio Sakara on short notice in March 2011, and the "All-American" has not stopped winning since.
In this writer's opinion, Weidman is the most skilled wrestler in the middleweight division, and his standup game is constantly evolving and improving, a point showcased in his most recent victory over Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4.
Compounding this, Weidman is only a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so he will undoubtedly be refining his submission game as well. As a quick note, being a purple belt in BJJ is nothing to scoff at; go into your local gym and ask to roll with a purple belt. No thanks.
Still, while many middleweights possess higher-level jiu-jitsu on paper, Weidman's application of the craft is marvelous and he has two impressive submission wins inside the Octagon for his efforts.
All this in mind, Weidman is the perfect man to defeat Anderson Silva, right? He has elite wrestling, dominant top control, crafty submissions and adequate striking, so he's the man for the job, right?
Yes, he is.
But Silva is not scared of him—get real.
Anderson Silva has accomplished more inside the UFC Octagon than any fighter before him. One can name on one hand the quantity of fighters with a realistic chance of usurping his position as the greatest fighter in UFC history.
To think this man would duck to a lower weight class to avoid Chris Weidman is absurd, and I mean no disrespect to Weidman in saying that. Hell, I wrote this article forever ago saying he is indeed the man to take Silva's crown.
I'm a little uneasy to stand by it after Weidman's recent injury, but if he is the same fighter he was before the setback, he still is, in my eyes, the man to overthrow Silva's reign.
I'm not kidding myself, though—Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre is about the money, the legacies and the unsurpassed star power. It's about ratings and fame, statuses and titles.
It has nothing to do with Chris Weidman.
Silva is aware of Weidman and his skills, but he does not fear the man. He is not ducking him. Any thoughts that drift into this realm of questioning Silva's integrity and manhood are absurd and invalid.
In my eyes, Silva has plenty to fear with Weidman. If one built a perfect fighter to take out Anderson (besides Anderson's clone, as the man himself suggested), it would look a lot like Chris Weidman. A whole lot, in fact.
But Silva doesn't see it that way, and why should he?
He is the man on top of the mountain, not the man clawing his way toward glory. As middleweight contenders climb the ladder to reach his level of achievement, he plays with them and lets them reach the top rung before stepping on their fingers and causing them to crash back to earth.
This is Anderson Silva—he is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, and his body of work under the UFC banner is unmatched.
And he is not scared of Chris Weidman.