He caught Silva with a big left hook while his defenses were down—due to his incessant showboating—and finished him off on the ground a little over a minute into the second round.
Let’s take a look at some of the most pivotal moments of the fight that led to that finish and the crowning of a new UFC middleweight champion.
The First Takedown
Weidman proved his wrestling acumen could be successful against Silva as he secured his first takedown about 30 seconds into the opening round.
He was able to keep Silva on the ground and land several punches from both inside his closed guard, and standing up in his open guard. Due to Silva’s experience from his back and his sound defense, he avoided any significant damage.
The Leg Attack
After keeping Silva there for almost two minutes, Weidman dropped back for a knee bar. He couldn’t secure that submission and then switched to an inverted heel hook.
Silva escaped both, but by attempting those submissions, it showed that Weidman was not going to be cautious in this fight and that he was willing to go for the win by any means necessary.
Entering “The Spider’s” Web
After Silva escaped the leg attacks, he returned to his feet. From there, the antics and showboating that we’ve seen many times before returned. Silva kept his hands down, at one point put his hands on his hips and shook his head after getting hit by a punch. He then waved Weidman back over to him asking for more.
Silva began to loosen up and land some outside leg kicks, but Weidman stood his ground and didn’t just look to attempt another takedown. It appeared that if Weidman continued to stand with Silva, he would be destined for trouble.
The Kiss Between Rounds
Silva was again waving for Weidman to attack him, and the horn sounded as Weidman threw a right hand. Weidman put his hand out to shake Silva’s, and he accepted. Silva then put his hand on his head and kissed him on the cheek.
It was their second embrace of the week, if you count the awkward lip touching stare down at the weigh-ins.
Candid Corner Advice
In between rounds Weidman’s head coach Ray Longo told Weidman, “I want you to punch a hole in his f**king chest, that’s what I want. Everything else is good…Don’t get careless…You are looking good.”
The End of an Era due to Arrogance
Silva started up with his histrionics once again at the start of the second round. He was wobbling around, back pedaling, dancing and showing Weidman no respect whatsoever. He would mock Weidman for the final time, dropping his hands before getting clipped by a clean left hook that sent him crashing to the canvas.
Weidman followed that up with a huge right hand and another left, before Herb Dean stepped in to halt the bout.
The Indelible Image
As Herb Dean stopped the fight at the 1:18 mark of the second round, Weidman had jumped up in celebration, while Silva was waking up and grabbing at the referee’s leg. It was an image of what many thought wasn’t possible: the first time he was ever finished by strikes in his career.
Michael Stets is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report