It’s time for the UFC 162 main event.
Chris Weidman slowly walks in to the Octagon to “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Anderson Silva uses his now-typical, “Ain’t No Sunshine” by DMX. Personally, I preferred his old theme, “Time 4 Sum Aksion” by Redman.
(But, tonight that wouldn’t be as fitting.)
Bruce Buffer yells out his usual introductions. He offers no mention of the bout’s real significance: Silva, the consensus pound-for pound greatest fighter of all time, and his record-breaking win streak.
The fighters are guided to the center, where Silva refuses Weidman’s hand — but then bows to him. (Hold on folks, the inconsistencies have just begun.)
“Early in the bout, when Chris was in control, he did everything he wanted, but couldn’t win, so Anderson gained great confidence. He thought it would be a walk in the park and then he began to play.” – Renzo Gracie
At opening bell, Silva bounces left and right but doesn’t initiate any offense. Weidman follows in, scoring a double leg takedown 30 seconds in. Silva tries to loop a leg around Weidman’s and assume a semblance of the De La Riva guard, but never quite sets the position. Weidman lands a punch and moves into half guard, and briefly into side control, for more.
“He’s not landing clean shots, but he’s landing shots!” Joe Rogan exclaims on commentary, a minute and a half in.
Weidman moves to a standing position and Silva looks for the same leg control, hitting a few up-kicks and flailing with his arms while Weidman lands the occasional punch. Weidman spins around Silva’s leg to drop for a knee bar, and then works for a heel hook, but Silva scrambles away.
Silva walks backward from Weidman, then side to side, his shoulders slumped and hands down. Weidman misses a jab, widely. Silva invites him in and shrugs off a combination.
They clinch, and Silva grips Weidman well.
“He’s got to be careful of the knees here!” Rogan exhorts.
But as before, Silva doesn’t strike.
They disengage, and Silva stands with his hands at his hips. Silva throws a half-hearted kick… and laughs at another Weidman punching combination — which lands.
Silva scores a few light kicks and straight punches, pacing around the Octagon with his hands down. A hard leg kick with 30 seconds left in the round offers the impression Silva is still controlling the action. But is he in control of himself? He exhorts Weidman to kick his leg. (He doesn’t.)
The bell sounds, and Silva kisses his opponent on the cheek. What’s going on here? Weidman probably won the round based on his early success.
“The boy [Weidman] really was fading, he was tired because he did everything (pushing the pace) during the first round. He had side control, he was attacking… and when Anderson saw him fading, he thought: Now I’m gonna give a show. The problem is that this sport is not the place for that. In this sport you have to win.” – Renzo Gracie
Round two begins with Weidman attacking. Silva feigns being hurt, gesticulates wildly, and bounces around some more; then stuffs a takedown attempt, clinches around his opponent’s neck… and does nothing.
Weidman’s mouth is open as he advances again, past two half-hearted Silva kicks.
Silva freezes during a spastic dance after Weidman lands a punch. This time Weidman follows with a crushing left hook.
It lands solidly… and Silva falls, unconscious.
“Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Weidman raises an American flag in celebration. It’s upside down.
(Gracie’s comments come from the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.)