The Good, Bad and Strange from UFC 162
The most dominant title reign in UFC history came to an end on Saturday night at UFC 162.
Anderson Silva, widely regarded as the greatest fighter to ever compete in mixed martial arts, was dethroned by upstart Chris Weidman by way of a shocking second-round knockout. With the victory, the Long Island native became the first man in the UFC to defeat Silva and the middleweight division's first new champion in seven years.
While Weidman crushing "The Spider" was the biggest moment on Saturday night in Las Vegas, the event was action packed from top to bottom with solid bouts.
A featherweight contender made his case for a title shot, and a former champion stopped a three-fight skid and jumped back into the win column.
In addition to the whirlwind face-punching fiesta going on inside the Octagon, there were a few poor showings and one huge slap of curious to be found.
Let's take a look at the good, bad and strange from UFC 162.
While it was far from a huge upset, Chris Weidman accomplished what 14 other fighters have failed to do by defeating Anderson Silva. The 29-year-old Ray Longo product capitalized on the window of opportunity left open by Silva's mid-fight antics and proceeded to flip the longtime champion's light switch.
With the victory at UFC 162, Weidman not only kept his undefeated record intact but added the biggest name in mixed martial arts to his resume.
It just doesn't get bigger than this, and Weidman seized the moment to capture the most elusive title in MMA.
In the bout with the German-born striker, Swanson fired on all cylinders. The Jackson's MMA-trained fighter used his speed and precision striking to blast Siver at will and knew precisely when to turn up the action to end the fight.
Swanson's victory at UFC 162 will most likely fail to earn him a crack at the featherweight title in his next showing, but it cemented him in that particular conversation.
Speaking of the crowded 145-pound division's upper tier, Frankie Edgar reclaimed a spot at the table on Saturday night by defeating Charles Oliveira in the card's co-main event. The victory broke a three-fight skid for the former lightweight champion and put "The Answer" back in the win column for the first time since 2011.
While the Oliveira fight was only Edgar's second showing at 145 pounds, the Toms River-based fighter looked crisp. His speed and footwork were on point, and there appeared to be solid power in his hands when he committed to throwing big punches.
Rounding out this category, Mark Munoz deserves some props. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" made a successful return to action after a yearlong layoff due to injury and picked up a huge victory over Tim Boetsch.
Leading up to the bout, Munoz discussed his battle with depression and weight gain, and his performance against "The Barbarian" is a testament to the Team Reign leader's dedication in the gym. The victory was Munoz's first notch in the win column since November 2011 and should take him a step closer to getting back into title contention.
Losing a fight is one thing, but getting caught while you are clowning around is something else entirely.
But we'll get to that in a second; right now we are moving on.
Make no mistake about it, Chris Leben is an institution in UFC folklore. Over the past eight years, "The Crippler" has become a fan favorite on the strength of his iron chin and his willingness to stand in the pocket and trade leather with the best fighters in the world.
While Leben's granite chin typically holds up to punishment, Craig rang the TUF alum's bell several times throughout the affair.
To make matters worse, the loss made it three straight in the L column for Leben. The losing streak, in addition to his yearlong suspension due to a failed drug test, has pushed the heavy-handed middleweight into the fringes of relevancy in the 185-pound ranks.
In most cases, three straight losses would mean a pink slip from the UFC, but it is hard to imagine the promotion cutting Leben. Nevertheless, one of Dana White's "retirement talks" could be in short order as Leben has look uninspired since coming off suspension.
Staying in the realm of unemployment, Dave Herman should be en route to cleaning out his desk at the UFC. "Pee Wee" picked up his fourth consecutive loss on Saturday night courtesy of a home-run shot from former title contender Gabriel Gonzaga. Herman's four losses all came by way of stoppage, with each one slightly more devastating than the last.
Herman may have been successful in his career before coming to the UFC in 2011, but things have gone considerably downhill since joining the sport's most successful promotion. When a failed drug test is factored into the equation, the thought of Herman keeping his spot on the roster seems far-fetched.
Leading up to the main event, there were no entries into this category. But then Anderson Silva stepped into the cage and decided to play with fire, and suddenly there is plenty to write about in the curious department.
The idea of Silva losing isn't unsettling by itself, but the fashion in which the fight played out has left more than a few questions lingering. Had the 38-year-old Silva looked his age inside the Octagon and took a beating to lose the title, Weidman's usurpation of the top spot in the middleweight division would have felt like a smooth transition.
Instead, Silva looked on point on Saturday night but lost because he decided to play games rather than fight. Silva's ultra-confidence is typically on par with his amazing physical capabilities, but at UFC 162, hubris brought about his demise.
For all the amazing moments that the pound-for-pound great has given the sport of mixed martial arts, the loss to Weidman will be one of the rare missteps in an incredible career.
Being dethroned at UFC 162 won't affect his legacy or what he's accomplished in the sport, but the moment when a fighter who seemed invincible became human will be forever ingrained in UFC history.
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