john lawrence looks at one of the biggest upsets in recent UFC history …
Ladies and gentlemen, I think that I speak on behalf of every fight fan on the planet when I say, “HOLY SHIT!!”
At UFC 162 on Saturday night, the unthinkable happened. Young up-and-comer, Chris Weidman went from being a relative unknown to being a legend in the world of mixed martial arts, as he destroyed the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. Anderson Silva tried to bait Weidman into making a mistake using the antics that a lot of fans have come to show disdain for, like putting his hands down to his side, tapping his chin, and taunting the other fighter. Unfortunately for Silva, the mistake was all his. As he put his hands to his side and began moving at the hips in the second round, Weidman landed a left hook that changed the landscape of the UFC forever. Weidman rocked the champ and continued with a barrage until the referee stepped in and called a stop to it. For the first time in seven years, a new UFC middleweight champion is crowned, and Anderson Silva suffers his first loss in the UFC.
Normally, this is the part where I would move on to the other fights and pick apart the rest of the event, but given the outcome, I think it’s appropriate to reflect a little on the legacy of the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva came to the UFC in 2006 at UFC Fight Night 5, and was mounted with the task of defeating one if the hardest hitters in the middleweight division in the form of Chris Leben. Silva passed the test with flying colors as he dispatched Leben in less than a minute, with a fierce knockout, winning his first Knockout of the Night honor. It was so impressive that fans clamored for the newcomer to get a shot at the middleweight champ Rich Franklin. The UFC did not disappoint and only four months later, at UFC 64, Silva got his shot. Not only did he win the title, but he dismantled the champ in a way most of us never thought possible, knocking out the champ in less than three minutes into the first round, and winning his second KO of the Night. In less than one full round total of fighting, Silva has become the UFC champion. Franklin was given a shot to get his title back from Silva at UFC 77, but met up with the same result, a KO via knees, but at least this time Franklin made it into the second round. Silva retained his title and won his fourth KO of the Night.
In 2008, the UFC bought Pride Fighting Championship, and needed to unify all of the titles. This pitted mma legend Dan Henderson against Anderson, with the winner taking both belts. Many, including myself believed Henderson to have the best shot at defeating Silva, but I guess Silva had other plans. Near the end of the second round, Silva was able to secure a rear-naked on the Pride champion, not only unifying the belts, but also winning his first Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night honors.
Anderson Silva’s entire career has been nothing short of amazing. He has set and broken nearly every record possible. He currently hold the record for most consecutive UFC wins with 16, most consecutive title defenses (10), most finishes in the UFC (14), most title fight finishes (9), longest title reign in UFC history, most KO of the Night honors (7), and most knockdowns in the UFC (17). In addition to all of this he has won Submission of the Night two times and Fight of the Night three times. He has also won countless other awards from Sherdog, ESPN, Spike, MMA Live, and others. He has one of the most impressive resumes in the history of the UFC with victories over legends like Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, and the list goes on and on.
Many fans and news outlets are saying that this loss takes away his best pound for pound fighter in the world status. I disagree. With a little under three years as champion, and only five title defenses, I think Jon Jones has a long way to go before he can be considered better than Anderson Silva. And while Silva is no longer the champ, I don’t think that we have seen the last of him by a long shot.
With that, I would like to congratulate Chris Weidman for accomplishing the one thing that fight fans had become certain could not be done. Congratulations champ.
The rest of the night panned out as follows:
Frankie Edgar def. Charles Oliveira via unanimous decision
Tim Kennedy def. Roger Gracie via unanimous decision
Mark Munoz def. Tim Boetsch via unanimous decision
Cub Swanson def. Dennis Siver via TKO
Andrew Craig def. Chris Leben via split decision
Norman Parke def. Kazuki Tokudome via unanimous decision
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Dave Herman via TKO
Edson Barboza def. Rafaello Oliveira via TKO
Brian Melancon def. Seth Baczynski via KO
Mike Pierce def. David Mitchell via TKO
photos credit to ufc