Anderson Silva (33-5) enjoyed a run of dominance in UFC's middleweight division that stretched all the way back to 2006, and the division was a bit stale as a result.
Things are interesting now with Chris Weidman (10-0) as the champ, and the way things have been going as of late, it doesn't appear that will change when Silva gets his rematch at UFC 168 in Las Vegas on Dec. 28.
If you'll recall, Silva's own swagger and confidence cost him the match against Weidman back in UFC 162. He stressed after the bout that he had no interest in a rematch (starting at 2:50 in the video below).
That seems to be par for the course as Silva has not sounded delighted about the prospects of a rematch even after it was announced.
Anderson Silva has lost fights on his record. Anderson Silva doesn’t know what it feels like to lose. It’s been a very long time since he’s lost, so, I’m sure that’s sinking in and he’s got to deal with that for a few days. I guarantee you, no matter what he says publicly, and we’ve had this conversation before, I guarantee you there’s nothing he wants more than that rematch with Chris Weidman.
There's a redemption story here for Silva, but we're not hearing it from him personally. It sounds more like a treat for the fans than something Silva wants.
Silva sounds more interested in a superfight with Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones, which he told "Panico" during a radio interview (h/t mmafighting.com). Silva admits he cannot overlook Weidman in the upcoming bout, but his focus is still on Jones and GSP.
Regardless of what Silva wants in the future, he's looking Weidman dead in the eye in December whether he likes it or not.
For the first time, Silva is being forced to question his own abilities at the age of 38. "The Spider" typically oozes confidence in the Octagon, but that same cockiness ultimately cost him his title.
Maybe a UFC without Silva as champ is a good thing. It would certainly do wonders for No. 1 contender bouts that have fallen flat in the division over the years because of his dominance—heck, five of his last six opponents have at one point or another changed divisions.
There's a seed of doubt in Silva's mind as he enters the rematch—whether he claims there is or not. You don't get knocked out for the first time in your career at Silva's age and not find it at least a little concerning.
Who wins on Dec. 28?
Silva's state of the mind entering the Octagon will be interesting. Will he be back to his cocky ways? That seems like a safe bet.
But coming off his first ever knockout in a rematch seemingly everyone wants but him and remaining focused on bigger matches, Silva is poised to fail.
Remember, no one gave Weidman a shot to win the first time. It's easy to write off the rematch as a Silva redemption story, but fans have made that mistake in the past.
Silva finds himself at a critical point in his career with his focus absent. Weidman is the first man to ever knock out The Spider and should be coming in with even more confidence.
Don't be surprised if Silva comes out and lays an egg in the hotly anticipated December matchup.
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