Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
This is the big one, folks.
For the second consecutive year, middleweight champion Anderson Silva headlines the UFC's July 4th effort in Las Vegas. It's fitting that Silva appears on this event, as the UFC is turning its annual July event into its own version of WrestleMania. Dubbed "International Fight Week," the event pairs a very good UFC 162 card with a plethora of fan-centered events during the week leading up to the fight.
Last year, Silva defended his title against nemesis Chael Sonnen for the second time, finishing the West Linn loudmouth in the second round. This year, he faces an even tougher challenge.
The best way for me to describe Weidman's skill set is this: He's a lot like Sonnen, except without that nasty habit of getting caught in submissions. That's a very limited view of what Weidman can do in the cage, but it should at least help you understand why so many people in the MMA world are picking Weidman to end Silva's historic streak and become the new middleweight champion.
I'm one of those people. I've picked against Silva before and looked silly in doing so. And there's a very good chance that I'll look silly once again after UFC 162, but that's a risk I'm willing to take.
According to the betting odds, Weidman is just over a 2-1 underdog going into the fight, which means he's being given a better chance of winning the fight than any Silva opponent in many years. It may sound cliche, but if you were going to build a fighter with the right kind of skills to dethrone Silva, well, he would look a whole lot like Weidman.
Silva may amaze us all once again. He could make Weidman look like an amateur. It's happened before, and it won't be a shocker if it happens again.
That's why we watch this sport, right? To see great moments. God knows Silva has provided plenty of those moments over the years. But this is the first time in a very long time that Silva's reign actually seems threatened heading into a fight.
Weidman can do it. Will he? You'll have to tune in to find out.