Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.- Charles Adams
As the marketing begins to take hold for UFC 162: Silva Vs Weidman, fans are coming out in droves in support for the challenger Chris Weidman. These are usually the same people who pretend they didn’t pick against UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson ‘The Spider” Silva in his last several title fights as soon as UFC President Dana White puts the belt around his waist in the Octagon. This is nothing new to Silva, as he has been in this position many times in his six-year reign atop of the UFC middleweight division. However, the support for Weidman is really piling up for this one.
Weidman is a great fighter, and he is a future UFC champion, but I’m not picking Weidman. In fact, at this point it will be very hard for me to pick against Silva regardless of who he’s rumbling with. This sounds incredibly close-minded, but people seem to have a really short memory when it comes to the accomplishments and track record of the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. The fact is, until a fighter can string together some of the most violent things I have ever seen in the Octagon, I won’t be picking against Silva. Yes, Silva is an aging fighter that is closer to the end of his career than he is to the beginning, but we have not seen him slow down or even seen his confidence shook.
We hear the same tired lines from the hype machine leading up to Silva’s fight about his legacy – “If he could beat fighter X, his legacy will be cemented as the pound for pound king.” Silva’s legacy was cemented a long time ago. Let’s say lightening strikes and Weidman upsets Silva. Does that undo his pile of shattered UFC and MMA records? The undefeated Weidman was told by the UFC that he wasn’t ready for Silva and he should win one more fight, but they seemed to change their tune when ‘fans started asking for it.’ This is the same person who could turn the most decorated champion’s legacy on its head?
A win over Weidman will not cement any part of Silva’s legacy. It will be just another win over another middleweight. Silva has more performance-based bonuses (12 – tied with Joe Lauzon for a UFC record), more UFC finishes (14 – a UFC record) and more consecutive title-defenses (10 – a UFC record) than Weidman even has professional MMA fights. If Silva was fighting Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre or Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones this would be a legacy fight, but in this fight you can count on one hand how many UFC wins Weidman has.
Anyone who thinks that the first person to beat Silva is just going to walk off with the belt is silly. When you pile up more MMA records than the UFC has hall of famers you earn certain things, and one of them is an immediate rematch with the person who takes your belt. If Weidman is EVER going to be in a legacy fight with Silva, it will be in a rematch, not on July 6.
Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports