RESPECT YOUR OPPONENT
Keep your hands up, and don’t underestimate your opponent. The first thing any aspiring fighter should be taught, and rules that Anderson Silva didn’t live by. Chris Weidman made sure Silva died by it, though.
After an early takedown by Chris Weidman led to a lot of nothing, Anderson Silva regained his footing, and almost immediately began disrespecting Chris Weidman. I don’t often break the journalist/fan barrier, but Anderson Silva is one of the reasons I fell in love with MMA in the early 2000’s, and I’m often entertained by his antics. When Chris Weidman caught Silva with a huge left hook, Silva had it coming.
Chris Weidman is not to be disrespected, and he proved that Saturday night by knocking out perhaps the greatest fighter in MMA history at UFC 162. Touted years ago by his coach, and former upset king himself in Matt Serra, Weidman did not allow Anderson Silva’s mind games to phase him. When Silva mocked Weidman, he was clearly trying to prove a point that they didn’t belong in the cage together. However, once the door shuts, that doesn’t matter. You respect your opponent and try your damndest to win the bout.
Eventually, the elephant in the room will need to be addressed. I’m not trying to take anything away from Chris Weidman. He deserves that win, and he achieved it. Anderson Silva was clowning around, and there’s no one that can deny that. After being knocked out, Silva was non-committal about ever fighting for the title again, despite saying that he would fulfill his ten-fight contract.
As one of my twitter followers (@Killacag) said, you can’t treat a grown man the way Silva did to Weidman. There were three and a half rounds left in the Silva-Weidman bout, with Weidman having won the first round. If a re-match follows, it will be a huge re-match, likely set for Super Bowl weekend in New Jersey. If the re-match doesn’t happen, there will always be a question mark surrounding the way the fight was finished.
Anderson Silva essentially defeated himself. That isn’t to say Chris Weidman wasn’t capable of doing it on his own. Despite the disrespect and clowning that ‘The Spider’ threw Weidman’s way, He was facing a worthy challenger. This isn’t Patrick Cote, Demian Maia, Thales Leites, Stephan Bonnar. They all fell prey to the mind games, Chris Weidman didn’t, and he is your new UFC Middleweight Champion.
Silva just signed a 10-fight contract prior to UFC 162. With 9 fights remaining, a Chris Weidman re-match should absolutely be on the table. If Silva manages to beat him, a rubber match is possible, as well as all of the much hyped super fights with Jon Jones and GSP.
As a fan, I thought I would always be disappointed in seeing Anderson Silva lose. As I’ve developed more into a journalist than a fan, I was a little excited when it happened. The evolution of MMA makes the sport better. From the Royce Gracie to Chuck Liddell to Anderson Silva to Jon Jones, fighters keep getting better. Don’t disrespect them, at any level.
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