Chris “The All American” (10-0, 6-0 UFC) Weidman vs. Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-5, 16-1 UFC)
The main event and the fight that EVERYONE has been waiting for, Anderson Silva will try to get his title back after a lengthy UFC tenure comprised of excellence and little else. Weidman defied the odds last time and succeeded where many others had failed, and taking the185 lb. belt by force. Hopefully now we can find out once and for all where these 2 stand in relation to the one another.
The champ Weidman is a bit of a perfect storm of MMA greatness. He believes he was destined to be UFC champion and judging by his ascent to the top it’s hard to argue. It seems like his whole life lead him to the number 1 spot and it will not be easy to take it away from the man.
-Everything starts with Weidman’s wrestling; he excelled in the sport at every level from cadet, to County champ, to State champ, to JUCO, to finally NCAA D I. He has adapted his wrestling wonderfully to the MMA arena and now can claim to be in the UFC’s all time top 5 in takedown defense and TD accuracy. His long frame and reach allow him to simply engulf guys and drag them to the mat and keep them there.
-Thanks to his natural affinity for ground fighting and his close proximity to former UFC welterweight champ and American BJJ legend Matt Serra, Weidman took to submission grappling like a shark to the ocean. He won several tough tournaments like grappler’s quest and NAGA before holding his own at the prestigious ADCC world championships. Again, he has transferred these skills to MMA incredibly well.
-As for the intangibles; the new champion is extremely efficient in striking, wrestling, and grappling and has a true savant like flare for MMA. The way he timed that elbow to nail Mark Munoz in the face, and how he connected at just the right point with that punch that laid out Silva, this guy has something special.
Weidman has yet to show any real technical or athletic weaknesses in his game. He may be under a ton of pressure and has a hefty load of expectations to live up to but he assures us he will be even better this time. We can also be pretty sure that he will not be nearly as fast as Anderson nor does he have the big fight experience.
What can we say about Anderson Silva that has not already been said a thousand times? The guy came into the UFC in 2006 a respected journeyman and is here he is in 2013 sitting pretty as the best fighter of all time. After an unprecedented run to the top of the MMA world he now at 38 years old faces his ultimate challenge.
-When it comes to Anderson Silva, it is almost all about his absolutely devastating brand of Muay Thai. The way he measures his opponents and his pinpoint accuracy make him simply lethal. Silva makes good use of all 8 limbs with the brutal martial art and is creative with a killer instinct that cannot be taught. You just never know what he’s going to throw, and even when you do he still lands it clean.
-Perhaps the attribute Silva gets the least credit for but one I believe has been vital to his success is his deceptively high level of strength. Watching him manhandle a prime Rich Franklin and seeing him simply shrug off a clinching Damian Maia was mind blowing. His functional strength is just off the charts.
-Every once in a while we get to see an athlete that has that very special something. That immeasurable ability that you can’t put your finger on but you know it when you see it, well Anderson has had that for years. Really coming into his own after the Damian Maia fight, Silva was on a level all his own.
Judging from the few times we have seen Silva in bad spots, we can pretty definitively say what his weaknesses are. Henderson, Lutter, Sonnen, and Weidman showed how good wrestling and grappling can get you at least a little momentum against the Spider. But it may turn out that Silva’s age, boredom, and cockiness ended up costing him as much.
Very rarely do we see a fighter regain their top form once they have lost it, especially at 38 years old. The sport of MMA just advances too fast and is too unforgiving. That said, if anyone can do it, it’s Anderson Silva. With the former champ possibly retiring after this fight and Weidman seeming to be something special, I am picking Weidman to defend his belt and win with another spectacular finish.