This Saturday night at UFC 162 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada the top pound for pound fighter in the world, Anderson Silva, returns to the octagon to defend his UFC middleweight championship against number one contender Chris Weidman.
Anderson Silva has long been the top fighter in the UFC and pretty much the number one fighter in the world of MMA since 2007. Unless you are an extremely casual fan of the UFC or living under a rock, you know who Anderson Silva is. He is the most dominate champion in the history of MMA.
Silva is undefeated in sixteen UFC bouts and has successfully defended the UFC middlewight championship on ten occasions. Silva brings uncanny hand speed along with deadly striking accuracy that is unparalleled in the UFC. He is also black belt in jiu jitsu under Nogueira brothers. During Silva’s incredible run in the UFC he has finished fourteen of sixteen fights.
Chris Weidman is a fighter that some may not be very familiar with. Weidman receives a title shot only five fights into his UFC career and nine into his career a professional fighter. Undefeated in all nine fights, Weidman returns to cage after almost a year of waiting on his turn to challenge Silva as well as recovering from an injury.
Weidman is jiu jitsu brown belt with NCAA Division I wrestling experience. Weidman made noise with his knockout victory over Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV last July. Weidman dominated Munoz in the first round before landing a beautiful counter elbow that stopped Munoz in his tracks at the 1:27 mark of the second round.
On paper, Weidman has the tools to defeat Anderson Silva. He has the wrestling to take Silva down and control him similar to how Chael Sonnen did in his first fight with Silva. Weidman should also bring a higher level of submission defense then what Sonnen presented.
In order for Weidman to win he will have to make this a grappling match and avoid standing with Silva for extended periods of time. Weidman must press the pace and force Silva to defend the takedown and fight from his back. If he can do that, he will find success.
The problem for Weidman will be taking the tools he does have and applying them to a game plan. Everyone knows that things change when punches start landing. Will Weidman have the experience to overcome adversity? Especially when the adversity is coming at the hands of MMA’s most deadly striker.
Anderson Silva has a way of picking up his opponent’s timing very quickly. The only way to counter that is for Weidman to put Silva on his back early and often. Should Silva be able to stay on his feet, he will pick Weidman apart and eventually land a strike that will end the fight. The second edge to Silva’s sword is the fact that he has proven that he can overcome adversity. Silva was losing badly in his first fight against Sonnen and was able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a last minute triangle from his back. Silva proved that no matter the situation he is always dangerous.
One thing that could be in the favor of Weidman and every opponent Silva faces from now until he retires is age. Silva is 38 years old. The question is not if he will ever lose, it is when? When will father time catch him? We know he catches everyone sooner or later.
Stepping out on a limb, look for Weidman to do what Sonnen could not do and that is control Silva on the ground for the entire twenty-five minutes. Yes, that means it will be one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Not only that, but it will spoil all the super-fight dreams between Silva and Jon Jones.
Look, it is just time for a fresh look in the UFC middleweight division. Regardless of what the UFC may tell you it is the one of their weakest divisions. That is why someone with only nine fights is getting a title shot.
Weidman gets the unanimous decision or gets knocked out by the second round. Those are the two most likely scenarios.
UFC 162: Silva vs Weidman airs live on pay per view at 9:00 p.m. central time this Saturday.