Anderson Silva is — pound for pound — the greatest mixed martial artist of all-time. If you’d like to debate this, go ahead. Wanna tell me that I’m parroting what’s been emitted via the mouths of many talking heads? Go right ahead. Of course I am. Facts get stated.
Just six nights away, my friends. July 6th. I’ve been looking forward to this for months. Probably even before then, ever since the Chris Weidman hype train began after his dominating performance against Mark Munoz. Some (experts, pundits, armchair Muay Thai couch potato warriors) say Weidman is the perfect fighter to take down Silva to give the “Spider” his first [ever] loss in the UFC. Others (see previous contents of the last parenthesis) see Weidman as nothing more than the promotional sacrificial lamb, a cash cow, to help the legend of Anderson Silva incrementally augment that much more.
My take? This will bore everyone, but I see Weidman successfully taking down Silva in the first round before Anderson knocks him out in the second. I don’t see Weidman having the “no fear” mentality that Chael Sonnen had the two times he fought the “Spider”. Weidman has never fought on a UFC pay-per-view before, much less against anyone of high rank. This isn’t just any opponent — this is the best in the world, Anderson Silva.
Could Chris Weidman beat Silva? Sure. Take him down and stay down. Silva has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but if there’s one weakness of his, it’s being taken down. Weidman’s wrestling skills provide him the adroit abilities to take advantage of the best in the world. Make no mistake about it, however, that Anderson is no slouch on the ground — he’s submitted [Chael] Sonnen and Dan Henderson in the past.
Silva is obviously at his best standing up, as he is a Muay Thai technician at heart. He’s not so much the aggressive fighter but rather the counter-fighter. He makes everyone pay for their mistakes. Case in point: versus Chael Sonnen last July at UFC 148, when Silva made Sonnen pay for the ill-timed spinning backfist by kneeing him against the cage and punching him from the side to a TKO victory. Anderson had wrist control on him in the first fight for a while before he threw up the triangle. To be fair, though, in the second fight Anderson actually rocked Chael with a short right hand. Chael just made an extremely foolish decision to go for a spinning backfist right after it. All the credit to Anderson for hurting Chael and finishing with that brutal knee to chest/solar plexus.
That’s the thing about Anderson Silva: asides from being the best in the world at his craft in the octagon, he’s also a mastermind at it as well.