Anderson Silva is just hours away form defending his UFC middleweight championship against Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
Weidman has all the tools to defeat the champion. He is garnering a lot of support around the world of mixed martial arts. He could be the one.
Silva is the best of all time. However, all fighters fall sometime. UFC 162 may be that time for Silva. He will not take this fight lightly, and there are steps he will have to take to improve upon his impressive 33-4 record. Weidman has the upset on his mind, but Silva will come prepared.
This is the biggest, and most obvious, key for Silva.
The longer this fight stays standing, the less of a chance Weidman has at defeating the champion. He is not on Silva’s level on the feet. Weidman has to take this fight to the ground.
If Silva can thwart Weidman’s takedowns, it will demoralize the challenger. Weidman’s confidence will take a hit if the Spider can keep the fight standing. It forces to Weidman to take chances he will not want to take in the stand-up department.
Takedown defense is one of the biggest X-factors in this fight.
This works in conjunction with the aforementioned takedown defense, but it also is a major portion of Silva’s success standing.
Silva’s footwork and head movement are second to none.
He does not stand directly in front of his opponent—that would make him an easy target for strikes and takedowns. Silva circles away expertly. When fighters do strike with him, Silva’s head movement is outstanding. He rolls just enough to avoid the brunt of the punches.
Weidman needs to cut off the cage. Silva’s movement will be something to keep an eye on, and if it is on point, it will be one of the major reasons he defeats Weidman tonight.
Establishing his jab, along with his footwork, will help set up the distance Silva wants to fight at.
He will not want Weidman to be too close. He will want to force him to shoot from outside. That will make Weidman's takedown attempts easier to stuff, but moreover, it will make Silva's striking more effective.
The champion has a long reach. That has always given him a big advantage in his fights. He sets up the distance of which he is comfortable with. Only Chael Sonnen has truly avoided this. He came forward quickly and gave the champion no space. Can Weidman do the same?
Silva has a crisp, fast jab. Utilizing that to create his distance will be very important.
These are three important keys for Silva in this fight. They take away most of Weidman’s chances to defeat him. Weidman has a complete MMA game, but he must be able to set up what he wants to do. Silva will want to make Weidman begin to think.
Silva will not take these for granted, and they will not be easy to pull off. Weidman will come in prepared to take the title.
Silva will use all of these together in an attempt to retain his middleweight title at UFC 162.