Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman Results: 4 Things the Casual Fan Learned
The fight result was shocking, not only because we'd never previously seen Silva lose inside the Octagon, but because the very idea of him being knocked out seemed almost laughable. Prior to UFC 162 at least.
It was a very surprising, odd and intriguing main event, one that may very well stand as the most memorable bout of 2013. Not for the action alone, but because of what it revealed to MMA fans.
There is much to be learned from Weidman vs. Silva, especially for those who may never have seen a legend fall before, or have understood the threat Weidman posed to Silva.
Let's take a look at the most important lessons from the UFC 162 headliner.
Anything Can Happen in MMA
When a fighter obtains the reputation of Anderson Silva it seems like the results of his fights are foregone conclusions. This is true even among the most knowledgeable MMA fans, but it is doubly so for those with a passing interest.
Fans who only watch events that feature the sport's brightest stars often do so because they expect to see the star put on a display. They don't want to miss what a very special athlete will do to once again set the bar a little bit higher.
It's a lesson hard learned when the legend way up there on the pedestal falls just as gracelessly as the horde of nobodies that do so far more often.
When Silva—the sport's most unbeatable man—lost at UFC 162, the realization that dawns on every fan at some point was apparent once again: anything can, and will happen in mixed martial arts. Nobody is unbeatable.
MMA Is Not the WWE and It Is Not a Movie
You don't have to watch every last Facebook fight of every single Fuel TV card to know that MMA is a hard and gritty sport. The very essence of fighting demonstrates that fact with ease.
But for some, those intrigued by the spectacle more than the sport, the UFC can sometimes seem like a movie or an extension of the WWE.
Set aside that MMA is in fact real, actual combat, and look at Anderson Silva's recent activity.
He's walked through competition, winning easily and put together a highlight reel that would provide good footage for a Hollywood blockbuster.
He's embarrassed opponents like Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin.
He's tussled twice with a guy who spends more time in WWE character than as himself in Chael Sonnen.
And through all of it, Silva has cultivated an aura of invincibility that no small number of fight fans have bought into.
At UFC 162 the show stopped. Silva clowned around—as he has done many times before—only to get caught, dropped and finished.
When you play a game like that for so long, eventually it catches up to you. Because MMA is a sport, not a show.
In the WWE, in a movie, Silva gets away with what he did against Weidman. In real life, he gets socked in the face and knocked unconscious, loses his title and suffers severe damage to his image.
There Is More to MMA Than Punching and Kicking
I'm not saying the casual fan learned about the grappling aspect of MMA at UFC 162. Anyone with any sort of acquaintance with the sports know a little about that.
I'm talking about the mental aspect of the game.
Silva's showboating can be interpreted a couple of ways; it can be seen as overconfidence or as a lack of concern over the fight's outcome.
But anyway you look at it, Silva's decisions directly impacted the outcome of the fight more than any of his physical traits. That isn't to say Weidman wouldn't have defeated a more focused and committed Silva, just that the direction of the fight was informed by Silva's mental approach.
More than that, Silva's post-fight comments—those about not wanting to fight for the title any more—were very revealing of the pressure and mental taxation that are ever present in a sport that is an expression of primal physicality.
It was an illuminating fight for casual and obsessed fans alike.
This Chris Weidman Guy Is Pretty Good
A lot of people will tell you that if Silva had approached his UFC 162 bout with more drive and focus, he'd have crushed Weidman.
Well, that's a nice sentiment to hold on to if you're still in disbelief, but Silva's in-Octagon choices are as important as his physical ability. Not trying, not taking an opponent seriously and trying to embarrass someone are weaknesses to be exploited the same as poor submission defense or sub-par cardio.
That Weidman exploited Silva's weaknesses is not a knock against him, it should be praised. The American took every last bit of what his opponent gave him, and in the process, took the middleweight title with him.
Not only that, Weidman defeated a legend and did it emphatically.
Those who first heard the name Weidman at UFC 162 (and those who never bought into him) aren't likely to forget it any time soon.