Silva Rematch Sees Weidman retaining his UFC Middleweight Title
If you missed UFC 168 on 28th December 2013, you missed one of the biggest rematches in UFC history. Chris Weidman concreted his future by securing his first title defence against the legend that is Anderson Silva.
Silva, a.k.a. ‘The Spider’, currently holds the record for the longest defence streak in UFC history since the competition began with 16 consecutive wins, 10 of those being title defences. He broke this streak, or rather Weidman did, earlier in July 2013. Weidman, ‘The All American’ and Bad Boy sponsored athlete, earned the belt at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas Nevada in round 2 after some theatrics from Silva.
Loyal Silva fans argued that this was a fluke, whilst some more mutual observers claimed that this was through luck; Silva got cocky and this caused him to lose by KO. So much was riding on this rematch for the future of the All American, whose record currently stands at 11-0-0, to prove to the world watching that the first bout was not a fluke.
Weidman was not without injury; Silva’s famous and dangerous kicks clearly had an effect on the Champion. A rematch was scheduled for late December and with Bad Boy backing him all the way, cornerman Stitch Duran in tow and plenty of practice checking those kicks, Weidman was ready.
This time Silva had been training hard too, aware he could not fool around anymore. He provided a spectacle by crouching down and what looks like meditating for a full minute on entering the arena, proof he was focused and had accepted Weidman as a serious contender.
The rematch, like the first fight, was held at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, and also like the first fight, came to an end in the second round. With Silva’s kick checked beautifully by Weidman’s left knee, we saw one of the most disturbing injuries of the UFC. The leg fracture Silva suffered to his right shin, saw his leg practically wrap around the leg of Weidman. On stepping back, Silva immediately realised the damage he’s caused and fell to the canvas for an immediate stop to the fight and win for Weidman by TKO.
During his post fight interview, the retained champion had a lot of respect for the legend, “No matter what happened in this fight, he’s still the greatest of all time. I wish him the best, and God bless him.” When asked about his checks Weidman said. “That was the No. 1 thing I got hit with the first fight. I worked a lot with guys with kicks. But it’s still crazy how that happened.”
Undoubtedly Weidman also had the first round with a takedown early on and some persistent ground and pound. “There was a point I was just thinking, ‘Ref, stop the fight.’ His eyes were in the back of his head for a lot of those punches.”
At 38 years old, it seems very unlikely that Silva will recover from this injury and this means the end of his fight career. One thing is for sure though; nobody will ever underestimate Chris Weidman again.