With Anderson Silva laying on the mat defeated, it quickly became clear that UFC 162 was the end of an era.
For the first time in his career, Silva was knocked out and the champ who has spent the past seven years leaving the Octagon victorious had lost his unbeatable air and title.
The UFC passed along this Vine of Chris Weidman as he captured the momentous victory:
It all made for an unforgettable bout. Here are the three biggest lessons I've taken away from it.
Even Silva Has to Respect His Opponents
Over the years, Silva has taunted countless opponents. He will dance around, leave himself exposed and try to do any and everything to get them to engage in stand-up fighting.
With his counter-punching ability, it had always worked.
It didn't work against Weidman.
Silva, undoubtedly frustrated with the wrestling skills of Weidman, was up to his usual tricks in this fight. This time, when a left hook caught him clean, he paid the price.
This has to factor into Silva's in-fight attitude going forward. It's not that he has to completely quit his antics—obviously, they have worked very well for him—however, he has to realize that even fighters not known for their striking can lay him out with one good punch.
Weidman Will Have to Continue to Prove Himself
Following his career-defining win, Weidman was not getting a lot of attention. The bulk of the chatter and focus was on the fall of Silva.
This is certainly understandable. Silva is arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He was going to be the story from this fight no matter what happened.
Also, by landing the punch that led to victory when Silva's guard was down, it is easy to say Silva lost this fight rather than Weidman won it.
In other words, there is no one yet rushing to call Weidman a great champion. To do that, he is going to have to go on his own impressive run as champ and start carving out a legacy away from this bout.
We Need a Rematch, But Might Not Get One
Also, Weidman, according to Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times, offered Silva a rematch.
So, we should be all set, right? After all, the only other party we need to hear from is Silva, and considering he just lost his title, he should be all for the rematch.
He isn't. In fact, he doesn't care if he ever has the title again.
“I won’t fight [again] for the belt. I had the belt for a long time,” Silva told ESPN.com's Franklin McNeil after the fight.
Well, that's unexpected. I suppose, using Silva's map for his future, if Weidman were to lose the title, the door would be open for a rematch.
However, this needs to be the next fight. I, and I'm sure most fight fans, want to see Silva try and conquer the only man who has ever beaten him in the UFC.
I'm still not ruling it out. Silva certainly wouldn't be the first fighter to change his tune on post-fight comments.
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