Article by Dave Walsh
Anderson Silva was the greatest Champion that the UFC had ever seen. His reign on the top lasted almost seven years and saw him completely dominate an entire division, something that no other fighter has been able to successfully do yet. A lot of people were picking Chris Weidman to beat Anderson Silva, partially because of Anderson’s age, partially because they wanted to see Anderson’s run end and to get some fresh blood in the mix. I understand that. The only fitting way for Anderson Silva to lose the Middleweight Championship was for him to beat himself in a sort of Ouroboros, circle of life way.
I’m not going to undercut Weidman here. He is a talented fighter and he worked hard to get to where he is, but at the end of the day, I’m still not sure that he has the ability to defeat Anderson Silva. Wait, I know what you are thinking; “he did beat Anderson Silva.” Chris Weidman does indeed hold the UFC Middleweight Championship right now and he also has a win on his record over Anderson Silva, no doubt. With that being said, Anderson Silva got inside of Weidman’s head, getting him to play his game, and at that point Anderson had him eating out of his hand.
Anderson Silva was so focused on pissing Weidman off and proving his own skills that he made a huge mistake which cost him the fight. Outside of that, he was well on his way to defeating Weidman just like he defeated all of his other UFC competition before that.
I know the counter argument already; Weidman took Anderson down in the first round and was scoring some solid shots from the top. That did indeed happen, but Weidman was unable to out grapple Anderson for the rest of the fight. Anderson even allowed him to clinch against the cage a few times and was presenting his knee to Weidman, calling for him to take him down (not calling for a leg kick, like Joe Rogan was saying). The way I saw it was Anderson was playing mind games, showing Weidman that Weidman’s best attributes were not going to get him the win, and that Silva had him where he wanted him.
What I’m saying is, I would not take Chris Weidman in a rematch at this point, that is, if that rematch ever happens.
Anderson Silva, quite simply, beat himself. It was the only possible outcome for his title reign that makes any real sense. There was no young upstart that dominated the sad, old champion. There was no war-battered veteran going to the ring one last time to take his beating and go out like Chuck Liddell did. It wasn’t an evenly-matched fight that saw Weidman get a clear win. It was Anderson Silva not wanting to be the champion anymore and showing how little effort he had to show to be the best, then getting caught with one punch for it.