LAS VEGAS -- My week-long stay in Vegas had an extra day added to it yesterday, courtesy of a genius decision by someone at United Airlines to overbook my Sunday flight.
All is well that ends well, as the extra time has given me ample opportunity to sit here at my desk, stare out at the strip and wonder exactly what I saw on Saturday night.
I'm still not sure what it was. Weidman's a deserving champion, as Jack Slack so excellently shows in his latest technical piece for Bleacher Report. I think it's just that, while we all knew Silva would not stay undefeated forever, it's still a bit jarring that it came about, at least partially because Silva thought Weidman was not in his league as a fighter and was intently focused on proving it in the cage by embarrassing the Long Island wrestler.
We know now, as does Silva, that Weidman is most definitely deserving. But I've decided that anything short of a five-round decision win for Weidman would have triggered the same internal feelings; that's the only way that the shock of seeing the greatest fighter in history is dulled—by five rounds of relentless and merciless pounding.
I know this to be the case because I remember the feeling in Oakland on a sweltering August night nearly three years ago when Chael Sonnen came within a whisper of dethroning Silva. It seemed inevitable that Silva would lose that night (during the fight), and by the time the fifth round started up, the idea of Silva going down in defeat was no longer shocking. It was inevitable.
Of course, Silva is the one that did the shocking that night. But on Saturday night, that moment belonged to Chris Weidman. He told the world he was going to not just beat Silva but finish him. He did, and that can never be taken away from him.
Check out the rest of my notebook from UFC 162 in the following slides.