Numbers never lie, but they never really tell the whole story.
At 16-0 in the UFC, Anderson “The Spider” Silva is arguably the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts. Opposite of him, Chris “The All-American” Weidman and his 5-0 UFC mark are staring down a tremendous opportunity to change the narrative.
Both fighters have earned their stripes, leaving an indelible impression on the recent history of the sport. While Weidman faces a monumental task in taking down Silva, he’s also up against some pretty staggering numbers.
But Weidman also has youth on his side—not to mention submission and ground-and-pound skills that should have Silva at least a little concerned.
One way or another, this UFC main event fight is going to be memorable. Will Silva be handed his first loss in the UFC? Or can The Spider catch Weidman in the same web that has snared his previous 16 challengers?
We’ll find out Saturday evening. In the meantime, here are some valuable numbers to digest in anticipation for a massive middleweight showdown.
|Anderson "The Spider" Silva||Fighter||Chris "The All-American" Weidman|
|38||Age (at fight)||29|
|185 lbs.||Weight||185 lbs.|
|88%||UFC Win Finish Rate||60%|
|1997||Fighting Pro Since||2009|
For all the talk of Silva’s greatness, it seems many are expecting Weidman’s youth and athleticism to play a big part in this fight.
At 38, Silva is nine years older than his challenger, and while age hasn’t caught up to The Spider at this point, it remains to be seen how well he can handle the youthful exuberance of The All-American.
Weidman has Father Time on his side, but a lot more than years separate the two fighters.
Weidman is a wizard on the canvas, using his superior wrestling skills to take down opponents and finish them off with an arsenal of top-tier submissions and a powerful ground-and-pound attack.
The All-American has averaged 2.6 takedowns per fight in his short UFC career—arguably the most important statistic in his pursuit of a victory Saturday night.
While Silva is an exceptionally well-rounded fighter, he simply doesn’t have the wrestling prowess Weidman boasts. If the title challenger manages to get Silva on the canvas a couple times in this fight, Silva could see his spotless record go up in smoke.
While Weidman will be looking to get The Spider on the mat to finish him off, the pound-for-pound champ will likely be just fine with pounding it out on his feet.
Silva holds the record for most knockouts in UFC contests with 11, proving time and again that he doesn’t need a bevy of takedowns to eliminate the competition. If Weidman leaves himself exposed in pursuit of the takedown, he’ll find himself alone on the mat when he comes to.
This main event fight boils down to a placeholder.
When Silva and Weidman step into the Octagon, zero is the only number that’s going to matter. With two spotless records on the line, someone is going to earn their first tally in the loss column.
For Silva, a perfect record has entailed defending his belt 10 times since 2006. A mark in the loss column would mean a lot more than the four he experienced before his time in the UFC.
The Spider deserves the advantage based on his impressive resume, but that doesn’t mean Weidman doesn’t have a chance in this showdown. In fact, The All-American’s wrestling prowess makes him arguably the most difficult challenge Silva has ever faced.