Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva Rematch: 4 Takeaways from Title Fight
Well, Chris Weidman did it again. He shocked the entire mixed martial arts universe en route to remaining the UFC middleweight champion.
While his victory possesses a certain amount of doubt in the eyes of hardcore Anderson Silva fans everywhere, the fact remains that he has now beaten the greatest fighter of all time, twice.
Sure, Silva's mangled left leg will outweigh the perfected efforts of Weidman over the rematch's six-minute frame, but nobody should doubt Weidman's overwhelming potential moving forward.
Here are four takeaways from Saturday's momentous, yet gruesome, onslaught of championship warfare.
Wrestling Is Still Silva's Weakness
Say what you will about the phantom knockout in their first fight or the leg break in the second, Weidman absolutely dominated Silva on the ground on both accounts.
While it was a flash knockdown that left Silva on his back early this Saturday, Weidman's wrestling pedigree ultimately kept him there.
Like a fish out of water, the former champion reeled as he tried to regain his footing. Pressed against him with no means of letting go, Weidman pressured Silva with great balance, dexterity and form.
It was yet another instance of how ineffective the greatest fighter of all time can be when you drag him to the mat and keep him there.
The Champ Has Serious Ground-and-Pound
While Weidman's wrestling played a major role in keeping Silva on his back throughout Round 1 at UFC 168, it was his brutal ground-and-pound that made him pay along the way.
Perfectly timed elbows, short rabbit punches, forearms to the throat and hands over the mouth were just a few of the techniques Weidman used to pressure "The Spider."
At no point did Silva even hint at being able to escape the big frame and postured being of the champ. Not even when Weidman was locked in Silva's guard.
So as crazy as this fight was (along with the first one), Weidman once again showcased elite ground-and-pound—the sort of ground-and-pound that will help him keep the middleweight title for a very long time.
The Smalls Things Count
Checking leg kicks are part of the sport. Guys do it all the time to limit an opponent's ability to do damage.
But who in their rightest of minds would have thought a checked kick could snap the left leg of the greatest fighter of all time?
It pays little respect to things that are actually possible inside the Octagon, but on a night when the biggest rematch in UFC history was unfolding before our very own eyes, Silva's broken limb reminded us that the little things count.
So much is credited to sweeping takedowns, chin-crunching punches and arm-snapping submissions these days that when something as simple and generic as checking a kick is thrown into a championship fight, people begin to wonder where it came from.
The fact of the matter is that checking kicks are often just as useful as punching somebody in the face. It just so happened to produce one of the worst injuries in UFC history this time around.
Chris Weidman Is That Good
People are always going to look back at this rivalry and slight Weidman whether they know it or not.
So much was said about Silva losing, not Weidman winning, in their first meeting that it seemed as if there was nothing "The All-American" could ever do to gain the people's respect. They just loved Silva and his endless glory too much.
But on the heels of another perfect performance, one that was more decisive than the first, Weidman has seemingly done all he can to prove he's actually the better fighter.
Now does that mean Weidman is the greatest fighter of all time? No. Does it mean Silva's legacy is tainted? Not one bit.
People just have to understand that all good things come to an end. Silva wasn't going to dominate until the end of time. There had to be a perfect fighter, a perfect situation and a perfect outcome for him to be overthrown.
Chris Weidman was simply on the right end of all three of those pieces to the puzzle because, well, he's that good.
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