The former UFC middleweight champ is heralded as one of combat sports’ most beloved icons, but in July, the invisible aura attached to his name came crashing down courtesy of a left hook from a 9-0 contender touted as nothing more than a stepping stone by the general public.
Chris Weidman proved to be much more than any other run-of-the-mill opponent Silva has faced in the past. The New York native shocked the world by overcoming Silva’s mind games and capitalizing on early mistakes to earn perhaps the most memorable knockout in UFC history.
In speaking with Sportv (h/t MMAFighting.com), Silva claims that basic mistakes, not taunting, cost him the fight:
My mistakes in that fight, and that’s the first time I’m saying this, were basic mistakes. I did everything I had to do except hit him. I didn’t counterattack. When I stopped with my feet parallel, I should have hit him and walked one step behind. I didn’t do that. I saw my mistakes and I’m working on that to train for this next fight.
The highly anticipated rematch between Weidman and Silva is slated to go down at UFC 168 on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Coincidently enough, the event is being held in the same venue Silva lost the title a few months ago.
It may be under the same roof, but Silva is expecting a much different outcome this time around. He has already issued a stern warning to the reigning champ, if he opts to stand and trade again: "It’s going to be a tough fight, and it won’t last too long if it stays standing."
Weidman has a definitive grappling advantage over Silva, and he was able to stay competitive during the standup exchanges in the first fight. However, it would be shocking to see a similar approach yield the same results the second time around.
Weidman might do well to listen to Silva and adopt the grappling-first approach that garnered him great success early in the first bout.
Lightning rarely strikes twice, especially against a legendary striker like Anderson Silva.