First things first, Anderson Silva didn’t throw the damn fight. Anyone who has watched the Spider fight for the last few years should have the experienced ‘knowing’ that he is the master troll of the octagon and easily the greatest reverse striker in the history of combat sports given his timing and knowhow in the cage.
The fact of the matter is, Chris Weidman — standing at 6’2″ — had the length to reach Silva, and he did, during the second round, when he (in short, concise terms) fucked Silva’s world to pieces, dropping Silva to the ground before pouncing on him and drilling his face with punches that had Anderson’s head bouncing against the canvas like a basketball before Herb Dean stopped the fight as it concluded in a knockout victory for the All-American.
As we all know, Silva has a tendency to expertly lean out of the way of his opponents’ punches in Matrix-esque fashion. It’s worked perfectly throughout his UFC career up to this point, up until that left hook on Saturday night. There was nothing special about that left hook and under normal circumstances Silva would have no problem slipping it.
The backfist by Weidman: several fighters, most notably Brock Lesnar, have been criticized for following up punches by flicking the same arm back at their opponent as a short backfist. It has been called a horrible boxing technique and a sign that a fighter has no idea how to properly strike. However, on Saturday night, it worked to perfection for Weidman. He won the fight with an elite 4-punch combination. He threw a left jab, a right cross, the backfist and then the left hook.
The first punch came from Anderson’s right and he expertly slipped it. The second came from Anderson’s left and he slipped it again. The third came from his right and he slipped it just the same. At this point, Anderson was ready, either for a punch to come from his left or for Weidman to reset before throwing another punch towards Anderson’s right side. Instead, since Weidman’s last punch had been a right (Even though it was thrown at Anderson’s right side), Weidman’s left was already cocked and firing off a hook. Anderson was caught completely off guard and it was all due to that awkward backfist that threw off Silva’s rhythm. He was not ready for two punches to come at his right side in that short time frame. See the .gif in my last post for reference.
Apparently a rematch between the two is in the works. I hope so. There needs to be one, if not for Weidman to show that he’s the best in the world at middleweight but for Silval to fight an all-purpose bout without looking like he’s throwing up the white flag for the damn thing.
Weidman said for months that he’d beat Silva. A day before the fight he said, “I am going to beat Anderson Silva tomorrow night”, and he did. Congratulations to the new Middleweight champion of the world, Chris Weidman.