Posted 07/09/2013 by admin in Untethered MMA
 
 

UFC 162 Fight Review

By Mike Fagan, July 9th, 2013 

We are creatures of habit. We resist change in favor of routine and familiarity and never-changing world views. Stability makes us feel secure. Chaos sends off alarm bells.

So it is no surprise than Chris Weidman’s victory over Anderson Silva – the method as much as the result – messed a lot of people up. It struck down paradigms many of us had come to accept as fact over the last 7 years: that Anderson Silva is iron-chinned, that Anderson Silva is undefeated in the UFC, that Anderson Silva is not just middleweight champion of the world, nor just the best fighter on the planet, but the greatest mixed martial artist in the history of the sport. Chris Weidman and his left hand forced us to question those axiom’s on Saturday night.

Not everyone fared well. There were questions about the fights legitimacy. Some suggesting a nefarious and convoluted UFC plot to help aid regulatory efforts in New York. Others suggesting Silva WANTED to lose, with either growing boredom or exhaustion or other conjecture as motivation. I’ve seen declarations that Anderson’s chin is now shot. That he was bound to get caught if he clowned around long enough. That we have been overrating him for some time. That his performance, his clowning in the cage, was disgraceful. Some even felt cheated out of their money.

Some claim Weidman’s victory is sullied by the finishing sequence. Somehow, Weidman sacking up and sticking it to a less-than-serious Silva diminishes the weight of his victory. Poor Weidman. All he’s left with is an historic knockout of the greatest champion in UFC history. One that the UFC will show over and over until its or humanity’s demise.

I’ve been fortunate to write this well after the shock of Saturday’s result has worn off. I don’t feel the need to defend Anderson or Weidman or attack Anderson’s antics or Weidman’s legitimacy. Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva in a spectacular way. Is he a better fighter than Silva? Probably not. But he beat the champ to become the champ, and that’s that.

-Following the fight, Anderson gave a bizarre interview, telling Joe Rogan he didn’t want to fight for belts yet denying the notion of retirement. Where does that leave him? Dana White told the media Anderson would receive a rematch if he lost. Does he not want it? If not, will he angle for one of the “lost” superfights with Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones? Or does he want to take fun, low-risk fights and collect a healthy paycheck, say with the likes of a Cung Le or Nick Diaz? Anderson’s new career trajectory is just as interesting as the new landscape at 185 pounds.

-If Silva refuses the rematch, the options for Weidman are interesting, if lackluster. Middleweight fighters have lived under the shadow of Silva for the past half-decade, and Weidman’s victory sheds some light on them, for the moment. Vitor Belfort probably has the best case, but he’s not far removed from eating Anderson Silva’s foot. Michael Bisping is coming off a win, but has yet to establish any sort of momentum against the top of the division. Yushin Okami’s bounced back from back-to-back losses to Silva and Tim Boetsch, but he’s Yushin Okami. And Mark Munoz beat up that same Tim Boetsch on Saturday, but that followed a knockout at Weidman’s hands a year ago.

-I asked Twitter to set a betting line on a Weidman-Silva rematch on New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas. Answers ranged from Silva -200 to Weidman -190, with most people chalking the former. I’d post Silva at something like -180.

-Midway through the first round, Weidman gave up his top position for a leglock attempt. It failed, and eventually allowed Silva to stand back up. Had Weidman lost, I think that we see that sequence heavily scrutinized. Weidman gave up position when it wasn’t necessary to do so. He wasn’t in any danger. He wasn’t down late in the fight. And it wasn’t the end of round when you can afford the risk. I don’t know if it was nerves, if he thought Silva was particularly susceptible to leglocks, or what, but it seemed like a huge mistake that could have come back to haunt him.

-Silva’s loss opens up an interesting discussion about the pound-for-pound ranks. Most seem to like Jon Jones and Georges St-Pierre as 1A and 1B or some permutation of 1 and 2. Georges has two more wins on his current streak, but Jones doesn’t have a legitimate loss to non-telephone pole opponents in his career. I still probably take Jones, though I’d feel more convinced had the UFC given him proper fights over the last year.

-Dana White told reporters at the post-fight press conference that Silva’s loss killed superfights with Jones and St-Pierre and cost everyone a lot of money, though he found a silver lining, joking that it takes pressure off him. I have no reason to believe White and the UFC could or would have put either fight on, anyway. Talk of the St-Pierre fight started as far back as UFC 100, and Joe Rogan explicitly said Silva would fight the Canadian at 170 pounds before the bell for Silva-Maia at UFC 112. The UFC loses any credibility attacking boxing for failing to put together the truly big fights (and, honestly, outside of Pacquiao/Mayweather, boxing’s done a good job over the last few years) when they piddled away two potential huge cross-division money fights.

-I usually bullet point the rest of the main card, but the result at the top deserve the majority of space. In short, this was a great pay-per-view card. The Kennedy-Gracie fight in the middle of the show dragged a bit – just a bit, and when that’s the low end of the night, you’re in pretty good shape.

 

Mike Fagan is a weekly contributor to MMA Owl. He also hosts Untethered MMA every Thursday at 7 p.m. ET at FightFansRadio.com, which can be found as a podcast in the iTunes store.

 

 

 

 


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