Chris Weidman's Time Will Come, but Will It Be Versus Anderson Silva at UFC 162?
Repeat something enough and those words will eventually be viewed as the truth.
For quite some time, UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman has been telling all who will listen that he is a bad matchup for longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Not only does Weidman feel he is a bad matchup for Silva but he feels that he has what it takes to become the middleweight champion and cost the UFC a lot of money in the process.
According to UFC president Dana White, “(Weidman) looked me right in the eye and said ‘I’m telling you, I apologize, but I’m going to f**k up all your superfights, but I’m going to win this fight. I’m going to f**k up all your superfights and be your next champion.’” Weidman then added that he would give Silva an immediate rematch at Madison Square Garden.
Well, we know the rematch at MSG is out after New York, once again, refused to take the legalization of MMA in that state to vote.
The other part, the part about "f’ing up the superfights between Silva and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre," how realistic are those claims? After watching all nine of Weidman’s fights, I just don’t see him having what it takes to dethrone Silva, at least not at this point in his career.
Sure, White has claimed that (via Mike Bohn of MMAMania.com), “All the pros, when you talk to all the fighters—every fighter out there that I've talked to whom we've interviewed thinks Weidman is going to beat him [Silva]. Georges St. Pierre thinks he's going to win so much that he didn't even want to plan to fight Anderson."
That’s a nice quote—one that will accomplish White’s goal of driving up interest in the upcoming pay-per-view. The quip will get the fans talking about the fight, but St-Pierre is not every fighter.
St-Pierre has trained with Weidman in the past. He’s also a fighter whom the UFC is trying to book to face the larger and dangerous Silva. If you don’t think St-Pierre has reasons to push Weidman as a huge threat to Silva, well, you’re being naïve.
As far as the promo clip the UFC released around the fight, that’s the same deal. It’s trying to convince you to buy the UFC’s product, stringing together a few one-liners to make Weidman into a king killer.
Don’t believe what the UFC is selling you on this fight.
Silva has held the UFC middleweight title since October 14, 2006. He has defended that crown 10 times in a row and remains unbeaten in his last 17 fights, 16 of which have been with the UFC.
Weidman is 9-0 in his career—a career that began nearly three years after Silva defeated Rich Franklin for the middleweight title at UFC 64. If you don’t think that experience is going to play a huge part in this fight, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Silva has seen it all, he’s done it all, and he’s won it all. Weidman has a nice run going, but his two last wins were against an injured Mark Munoz and Demian Maia. The Demian Maia who thought he was a striker, not the Demian Maia who knows he is one of the best submission artists in the sport.
Yes, Weidman’s knockout over Munoz made for great television. It was perfect timing on Weidman’s part, but there’s no way Silva leaves himself open for that type of elbow to the head. He’s not stepping in and swinging wildly like Munoz did; it’s not going to happen.
Who wins and how at UFC 162?
Weidman’s plan is easy to figure out. He works from distance and uses strikes to set up the takedown. Once he is on the ground, he transitions to side control and looks for submissions, patiently looks for submissions.
The problem for Weidman is not the ground game. If Weidman can get Silva to the mat, he will give the champion problems on the ground.
The problem is his striking to set up the takedown. If Weidman works from distance and fires looping punches, something he has done in almost all of his previous bouts, he will leave himself open to a counter from Silva. If you’ve watched any Anderson Silva fight you know that all it takes is one mistake, one opening, one bad position and the fight is over.
Talk is cheap, and there has been a lot of it around this fight. Most of that talk has come from the challenger and those looking to build up his chances in the July 6 contest against Silva. That’s a smart move from Weidman, and it’s a smart move from the UFC. That talk will build up interest, and it will build up ticket sales, but don’t expect it to turn into reality.
Chris Weidman’s time may come, and it may come in the not too distant future. I just wouldn’t count on that time being July 6 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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