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Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 2: The Young Champ Proved He Is the Real Deal

Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;    Chris Weidman (red gloves) and Anderson Silva (blue gloves) fight during their UFC middleweight championship bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Dan HiergesellChief Writer IVDecember 16, 2016

Rarely do we see fighters break onto the scene to defeat a mixed martial arts icon in succession.

Rarely are we witness to the impossible, whether it be an illustrious knockout or unbearably painful leg break.

Rarely can we point our finger at a young champion with only 11 professional fights under his belt and say, "That guy is the real deal."

Well, on the heels of beating the GOAT for the second time this year, it's officially time to consider Chris Weidman the real deal.

Saturday night's unfathomable destruction of Anderson Silva was not only an exclamation mark to the champ's unheralded upset at UFC 162, but it represented Weidman's gleaming potential moving forward.

As a wrestler with the discipline to check kicks like he was brushing his teeth, along with powerful hands that can drop any unsuspecting middleweight, "The All-American" has a future that any true fan would be proud of.

But what makes Weidman even more distinguished among his peers is his ability to understand the moment. He knows what to throw, when to throw it, when not to throw it and how to look unflappable while doing so.

Not to mention he continuously displays the incumbent class and respect that other professional fighters only dream of.

What Weidman has become is, for the lack of a better title, the perfect champion. He's humble and hard-working; he understands his role in the sport and keeps his mind on greater things.

Dec 28, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;    Chris Weidman gets ready to enter the cage for his UFC middleweight championship bout against Anderson Silva at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Weidman won. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

At no point has he ever seemed overwhelmed by any of this.  Even as a young kid trying to shed the doom of Hurricane Sandy and unwanted shoulder issues prior to UFC 162, Weidman remained resilient. Even as a champion with little public support trying to end a legend of combat, Weidman remained resilient.

It is that resiliency and determination that has led him to his new role as middleweight king. Because in a time when long-tenured gods like Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva have either stepped down or lost their footing, the UFC needs new faces.

Weidman seems to be that new poster boy as he aims to defend his hard-earned championship opposite Vitor Belfort sometime next year.


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