This is the first time Silva has lost since 2006 and it is the only knockout loss of his illustrious career. He also has given up the UFC Middleweight Championship for the first time since winning the title seven years ago.
The 10 successful title defenses by the Brazilian are the most all time, and he is clearly one of the best fighters in the history of MMA.
However, his dominance started to get monotonous. After 16 wins in a row, fans simply could just assume he would win and skip the pay-per-view altogether. Anyone who watched him in his prime certainly did not need to drop everything to catch these matches.
By getting knocked out, Silva brought the drama back to UFC. Fans will be talking about this match for months, and anyone who missed the bout will be sorry they did.
That fear of missing out is one of the biggest marketing tools a sport like this can have. Not many PPV events over the past couple of years truly forced fans to watch; usually the main event was either an obvious blowout or it featured uninteresting competitors.
In the coming months, this thought process will start to change. Those deciding whether to watch will have to question whether there truly is an obvious blowout. If Silva can lose, so can anyone else.
Plus, any potential rematch between these two would be among the more highly anticipated matches in a long time. The buzz is there, and the league must make sure to take advantage of it.
Additionally, this match helps pass the torch to a new superstar in the sport. Chris Weidman had been a fast riser through the rankings, although he was hardly a household name after a 9-0 start.
This 10th win is by far the biggest of his career and it will put him on an immediate path toward stardom, which will be huge for a sport that was light on big names.
Outside of Silva, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and a handful of others, there are few must-see fighters in UFC. The fact that Silva is already 38 years old meant that someone new had to step up and take his place.
If Weidman is able to have a reign anywhere close to as long as the one by the man he beat, he will give the league one more star to market.
The other great thing about this bout is that it builds up Weidman's career without truly hurting Silva. This defeat is unlikely to impact the legacy of a man who has broken nearly every UFC record there is. He simply passes the torch to the next great fighter.
Saturday night's match is one that will be remembered for a long time. It saw the seemingly impossible happen when the great Anderson Silva was defeated.
Whether fans are happy or upset at the outcome, the sport is better off because of it.
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