Last week, our own Jack Slack did a comprehensive breakdown of Anderson Silva, and his potential weaknesses. In truly precognitive fashion, he had this to say:
Boxers often double or even triple up the same hand mid-combination, which makes it difficult for the defender to turn side to side as Silva does.
Very few opponents have doubled up punches from one hand against Silva. I am not saying that doubling up would allow a fighter to knock Silva out—there isn't a simple answer to an iron chin. However, there is a reason why elite boxers rarely roll with every punch as effectively as Silva does; boxers are not as predictable and one-note in their offence.
The combination that would finish Silva's night was precisely that.
Check out the video of the knockout here.
Initially, Chris Weidman grazes Silva with a left hook, which “The Spider” laughs off (almost literally) by pretending to be on wobbly legs. From there, Weidman resets and throws another left hook, following that up with a looping right.
As Slack details, mixed martial artists traditionally struggle with anything other than piston-like, left-right-left-right combinations. What threw Silva off was that after whiffing the looping right, Weidman throws his right again.
That second right hand was a genuinely ugly hodgepodge of a backfist, jab and uppercut that realistically would've done no real damage, even if it had landed. Regardless, Silva planted his right foot to avoid Weidman's right hook. From there, he stepped back with his left leg to avoid the second right.
This, essentially, left him with his feet together. With his hands down and his weight moving to his right, he had nowhere to move his head but to his own right, which was precisely where Weidman's left hook happened to be.
While many are saying that Silva lost this fight for himself, that isn't entirely correct. Watch the slow-motion footage and keep track of Weidman's vision and footwork.
After the second right, Weidman keeps his feet in position to allow him to adjust to Silva's head movement. As Silva begins to sway to his right, Weidman clearly identifies the opening and lunges into the left hook that would lead to the end of the fight.
While Silva is obviously the better striker of the two and things very easily could have been different if he had his hands up, this was no fluke on the part of Weidman. At least for now, he is the UFC middleweight champion.
Should a rematch come to fruition, we'll see if he can repeat that performance.
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