Chris Weidman needed only two minutes and seven seconds in the Octagon with Tom Lawlor at UFC 139 to show why he just might be the hottest prospect in the middleweight division. "The All-American," undefeated in six previous mixed martial arts matches and two UFC bouts, extended his perfect record with a dazzling D'Arce choke to submit "The Filthy Mauler" in the first round.
Weidman made quick work of Lawlor, hitting him with a strong kick before scoring a takedown and engaging Lawlor along the cage. It wasn't long before Lawlor found himself underneath Weidman with little room to breathe, much less move. After less than a minute of squirming, Weidman locked Lawlor into a triangle choke to score his third UFC victory and his second in a row by submission.
Lawlor's quick defeat wasn't entirely unexpected. Despite his seeming desire to "get physical," with Olivia Newton-John singing him into the Octagon while adorned with a pink headband, a pink scarf and a yellow jump rope, Lawlor came in rather rusty and, perhaps, could've used an easier opponent against whom to get back in true fighting shape. Lawlor hadn't been in the Octagon since October of 2010, when he earned a victory by unanimous decision over Patrick Cote at UFC 121, on account of an unfortunate string of injuries.
Either way, the former "Ultimate Fighter" winner had no answer for Weidman's superior wrestling skills. Weidman's win over Lawlor is easily the most impressive on his resume and only further cements his status as the top prospect in the middleweight division, if not the world of MMA as a whole.
Weidman has quite a ways to climb before he can be considered among the best in a weight class that includes such superstars as Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping.
But if Saturday's result is any indication, Weidman could very well find his name mentioned alongside some of the giants of the UFC sooner rather than later.