Silva is the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and regardless of what pundits and fighters alike are saying about Weidman’s chances of defeating him, he is widely regarded as the best fighter ever.
Silva has been the UFC middleweight champion for seven years, posting a 16-0 record in the UFC with only two of those fights ending in decisions. Outside of the five combined rounds he lost to Chael Sonnen in their two memorable fights, he’s dominated in a way that makes one question if anyone can stop him.
Weidman holds a record of 9-0, and in all honesty, he is the default No. 1 contender due to losses by other high-profile middleweight contenders. Stylistically, however, Weidman is the perfect prototype to beat Silva: exceptional wrestler, good submission fighter, young and powerful.
The idea that Weidman could actually defeat Silva all started when UFC welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre reportedly stated there was no chance a superfight would happen between he and Silva. Dana White shed light on why in an interview on mmafighting.com .
"He 100-percent, absolutely, positively knows that (Chris) Weidman is going to beat Anderson Silva," White declared. "No doubt in his mind that [a superfight] won't happen. The fight with [Silva] won't happen because Weidman is going to win. There's no 'what if' for [St-Pierre]. He absolutely, positively knows [Weidman] is going to win that fight."
Guys like the aforementioned Sonnen, Dominic Cruz and Frank Mir believe Weidman’s pure power will give him the edge that Sonnen didn’t have against “The Spider.”
"I think Weidman has an outstanding chance of beating Anderson and becoming the champion," Mir said. … “This upset is going to happen, and everyone is going to be shocked because they never saw it coming. He's got the best style to beat Anderson of anyone Anderson's faced in the UFC. Anderson has shown one weakness—he can be controlled on the ground by powerful wrestlers—and Weidman is the most powerful wrestler there is in the division.”
On the other side of the spectrum, some perceive the hype train that is Chris Weidman as premature. While Tim Boetsch seems to believe he’s the fighter that will eventually conquer Silva, experience seems to be Weidman’s heel in his mind.
"I think Weidman has the tools to do it, but with the experience and Anderson just being the greatest fighter in the world, I think he's going to hang onto that title for a little bit longer until I get there to take it away from him," Boetsch said.
Twitter trends seem to show that many casual fans are behind Weidman in the contest. While it’s too early to say the majority of fans are picking Weidman, the majority of fans are predicting this fight to be one of the best the UFC has ever seen.
Silva vs weidman gonna be epic :) Edgar vs oliveria can't wait #UFC162— Gally19i (@aarongalibert) June 26, 2013
Does Weidman have the tools to defeat Silva? Twitter says yes because he is young and hungry, and he has the confidence to defeat Silva, which is something Sonnen didn’t have when he came up short.
The power and age advantage goes to Weidman, but the experience and aura of invincibility are still on Silva’s side. However, my gut says there is too much hype for a fighter with only nine victories, and Silva will once again derail the hype train in dramatic fashion.
Am I wrong?