5 Reasons to Look Forward to the Weidman vs. Silva Rematch
You may be surprised that the author of “Anderson Silva Should Not Receive an Immedaite Rematch” would write this article. But despite one's own feelings on “The Spider” receiving an immediate rematch, only a fool would not be excited about the opportunity to see Weidman and Silva face off at UFC 168.
There are seemingly countless variables that add intrigue into the bout. From the shaping of the middleweight division to the fight itself, Silva vs. Weidman II is likely to push anticipation to the limit. Regardless of the outcome, both men have created an ever-cresting wave of interest that has more than just the hardcore fans talking.
Endless Internet Fans Bickering
You can pretend you don't enjoy the endless arguments and inductive logic that persist prior to huge fights, but we all know you secretly enjoy it.
There is something wonderful about watching everyone from teenage boys to men who act like teenage boys argue about what they are sure will happen in a big bout. Let's face it, you likely would not be on this site if you didn't get involved in such discussions now and then. And there will be more than enough opportunity for each person to get his fill by December.
There's no shame in siding with your favorite fighter and screaming that he is and always will be the greatest and most unbeatable man on the face of the earth.
Equally fun, however, is watching others go into hiding when they back the wrong horse.
There will be one of two narratives once forums recover from crashing due to fan frenzy: “Anderson was never great and presided over a weak division” or “Weidman was all hype and got lucky the first time.”
Regardless of which reality transpires, neutral and/or rational fans will have a treat watching the more emotionally unstable of the MMA troth spew virtual spittle as they damn or defend whomever falls short in December.
Flushing out the Middleweight Pretenders
When a champion loses his title, there can be a cluster of challengers wanting a title shot. With a rematch of Silva and Weidman at UFC 168, the middleweight division has time to settle the exact pecking order.
Vitor Belfort is the biggest marketable name among the challengers. He beat contender Michael Bisping and knocked Strikeforce Champion Luke Rockhold in his most recent bouts. Still, that does not necessarily mean "The Phenom" is set to take on the winner of UFC 168. It is possible he will have to take another bout to truly solidify the shot.
Outside of the Brazilian veteran there is Costa Phillipou. The former boxer has quietly amassed a five-fight win streak that is capped off with the destruction of Tim Boetsch at UFC 155. Unfortunately, the Cypriot still suffers from a rather unknown name. A bout between Costa and Vitor would be explosive and surely bolster his marketable recognition.
Meanwhile in the division, Yushin Okami and Ronaldo Souza have strong cases for their own title bid. The two are set to face off at UFC Fight Night 28. Okami's style may less exciting than the aforementioned boxers and Souza's name less known to UFC fans, but neither are any less deserving of a title shot than Belfort or Phillipou.
Further down the ladder is Mark Munoz and Michael Bisping. As MMA Junkie reported, the two are set to face off UFC Fight Night 29 in Manchester. Both fighters sit on the outskirts of the top-contender position, but each has an outside chance at earning his shot at the title. Munoz has the built-in revenge storyline after losing to Weidman at UFC on Fuel 4. Michael Bisping is the niche golden goose for the United Kingdom and is always one or two wins away from a title shot.
Thanks to the the rematch, all of these possible contenders have a chance to create a pecking order. That means continual big bouts comprised of top-quality competitors.
Fool the Spider Once... Can't Get Fooled Again
Anderson's entire UFC career involved beating foes with his mind games before and during fights. At UFC 162 Weidman did not take the bait and capitalized on Silva's penchant for play, finishing the long-time champion in brutal fashion. That type of loss almost assures the fans that they will see a more motivated Silva than ever before. If the idea of a raging, angry, ready-to-kill Anderson Silva doesn't excite you then you should check your pulse. You might be dead.
Silva is, without questions, one of the greatest fighters of all time. He was and is so good that he can fudge the rules of proper conduct in the Octagon. Nobody but Silva gets away with joking around, dancing and placing one's self in danger. Nobody who wins that is.
“The Spider” is sure to shed some of the more dangerous clowning in the rematch. It's a fair say he will stick to more direct and violent assaults on the new champ. Silva has always shown a pension for finishing with brutal flair. Now, he may remove the flair and double up on the brutality. That thought alone should make any fan more than just moderately filled with excitement.
Weidman Wants to 'Franklin' Silva
It would be a poetic end to the a storied career if Anderson was flattened by Weidman in his rematch. After all, Silva left Rich Franklin in much the same position after beating him in their championship rematch in 2007.
Of course, Weidman wants to keep the belt. Who wouldn't? But more than that, by December Weidman will have had his fill of hearing how “Anderson beat himself” and “It was a fluke win.” Weidman will want to put an end to Silva's opportunities to reclaim the belt. He will want to end all questions regarding his legitimacy as champion.
The nay-saying and second guessing will not deter or distract Weidman. It will instead fuel him. The worst thing a fighter can feel is having nothing left to prove. MMA Weekly released an article showing that odds makers gifted Weidman with a reason to keep pushing to improve when he was officially set as the underdog for the rematch.
Weidman will work his takedowns, double-up on his striking defense and prepare for five rounds of hell in a cage. Come December, the only man who should be sanctioned by any athletic commission to face Weidman is Silva. For anyone who is not a living embodiment of a superhero entering the cage and facing Weidman will is tantamount suicide.
The Match Itself
We can talk about the externalities and circumstances of this fight all day; however, the fight itself is the top reason to be excited come UFC 168.
Fans will have the opportunity to see the sport's greatest middleweight take on the newly crowd king of the 185-pound division. Honestly, if you need any more backstory for the UFC 168 headliner, you're probably a casual fan.
Just look at the two warriors. Look at the anger and professional animosity that is sure to boil over into beautiful violence and you will feel your BPMs rise.
Weidman proved why so many fans could not help but admit he had a chance at UFC 162. The New-York native proved he could capitalize on his skill and the provided opportunity and brutalized Anderson Silva. Now Weidman has an even taller task of defending the belt against “The Spider.” He must survive the wrath of an embarrassed and determined legend.
It is impossible to know how the fight will look once the Octagon is locked and the referee initiates the clock. The two men do not like each other, which is fine because they don't have to. Each now holds respect for the other. That respect is a mask they wear before war. A mask that only fails to cover eyes, which exposes controlled rage. Each is looking to put the other out cold. The fans will reap all the excitement of the circumstance.
The fight may be short. The fight may be long. The fight will be exciting. We all will wait with bated breath to watch it and the history it unfolds.