When new UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (10-0) defeated MMA legend Anderson Silva (33-5) in the main event of UFC 162, fans everywhere were stunned by the way the title holder lost.
Which fighter should Chris Weidman square off against next?
While Silva claimed immediately after the fight that he did not want a rematch or to even fight for the title again, per UFC’s YouTube page, president Dana White’s commitment to making a rematch happen will ensure that a chance for a decisive ending will come to fruition.
White told John Morgan of MMAJunkie about what Silva should do before he makes his decision to challenge for the title again or not:
Anderson Silva needs to go home, hang out with his family, take a week or two to shake this thing off. There are times when guys will win a fight, and they don't want to talk for three weeks. It's really part of the process, it really is, and especially a big night like tonight. And when you lose the way that he lost, there's a process for this.
Silva hadn’t lost since 2006 and the shock of being defeated for the first time in 17 fights will stun a fighter’s system. It will take a star like Silva, that puts so much effort into the sport, time to recover mentally from the devastating loss.
The Brazilian star's comments have left the door open for other middleweights to claim their shot at Weidman and his title, including top contender Vitor Belfort who took to Twitter to undermine the potential rematch:
@danawhite the fans and me are very excited to see who is going to my next opponent on this Saturday I deserve the winner!— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) July 2, 2013
While a fight between Belfort and Weidman would be entertaining, there is no doubt that Silva deserves an immediate rematch for the title that he had held since October of 2006.
Thank goodness for MMA fans that White agrees with that sentiment, via Morgan:
Anderson Silva has gone undefeated since 2006 and has beat everybody and held the title. He deserves the rematch. I mean, Chris Weidman said that before he even fought him. Vitor is just going to have to wait. He's not getting the rematch. He can text. He can tweet. He can write f---ing letters. He can call his congressman. He can do whatever he wants to do. He's going to have to wait. Anderson Silva is getting the rematch.
There is no doubt that in the past White has made a few questionable calls when it comes to matchmaking, but a rematch between Silva and Weidman could be the easiest decision of his career.
With the MMA world’s desire to see the fight and White’s commitment to building PPVs that will sell huge numbers, there is little doubt that with the right money, Silva would be convinced to fight for the title once again.
The UFC needs this rematch, and White must and will do whatever it takes to make it happen.