In the main event of UFC 162, it was No. 1 contender Chris Weidman (10-0) who stunned the world and defeated Anderson Silva (33-5) to win the middleweight championship via knockout in the second round.
The Spider finally got caught.
Weidman showed that he was a legitimate threat to Silva's title reign from the outset, earning a takedown early in the fight and went to work on top, as noted by Norm Wood of the Daily Press.
The second round consisted mostly of Silva keeping his hands down and taunting the challenger, keeping the distance while avoiding Weidman's advances. However, keeping his hands down would prove to be a bad decision as Kenny Florian tweets, even a legend like Silva can't continue to keep his hands down.
Weidman took advantage of Silva's lackadaisical approach in the Octagon as he landed a flush right hand to Silva's jaw that put the champ down. He then swarmed him with some ground-and-pound before Herb Dean called the fight and crowned a new champion.
The UFC announced it was the knockout of the night:
In the second round, Silva once again taunted Weidman, but allowed the "All-American" to catch him cleanly, and it was all over as he stunned the longtime middleweight champion.
Silva had been on a 16-fight winning streak in the UFC and had won 10 straight title bouts since winning the middleweight title in October of 2006. While no fighter was able to dethrone the MMA king for six-plus years, it was Weidman who finally did the unthinkable.
Weidman beat Silva and cemented his own legacy.
While there were many experts who didn’t give Weidman a chance to win the title, the collegiate wrestler proved that his length and athleticism were a tough matchup for Silva, and his strengths ultimately won him the fight.
The stunning victory Saturday night proves that the hype around the undefeated champion was deserved, but the road to becoming a megastar in the UFC is just beginning.
While Weidman deserves an immense amount of credit for stopping Silva’s streak and taking his championship belt, the celebration must be short-lived if he wants to retain the title in the likely rematch.
The UFC doesn’t always give immediate rematches—as seen in the heavyweight division with Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez—but there is little doubt that this is not the end of the war between Weidman and Silva.
Now that Silva has lost his title, there is little doubt that he will train even harder to get it back.
As great as the first chapter of this battle was at UFC 162, watching the build to the rematch featuring Weidman as the champion and Silva as the challenger will be something unique and different.
We haven’t seen Silva chasing the title since 2006, and that should help the veteran become more focused and dangerous. The eventual rematch will be a huge pay-per-view event.