Chris Weidman – To Be Or Not To Be
By Christopher Jester
In his title winning fight against Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman pulled off one of the greatest upsets in history while also becoming the UFC Middleweight Champion. Although most of the focus was on what Anderson Silva did not do in the fight, and very little was put on what Weidman did do, it still leaves Weidman in quite a puzzling predicament. Is he really that good? Or did he just find himself lucky fighting against an unfocused and listless Anderson Silva?
Going into that first fight, Weidman had an unwavering amount of confidence. He even had a string of fellow fighters who were sure of his upcoming victory. That confidence came in at an all-time high compared with previous Silva opponents. However, it faltered a bit throughout the fight as he seemed a bit unsure of himself at certain points, but he was able to land a left hook that shut the lights off a man who seemed damn-near invincible.
So, it should come to no surprise that before the rematch this weekend at UFC 168, Weidman is even more confident now than he was in the previous fight. He is quite sure of himself, and perhaps even to a fault. But that first victory did come from a man who had been on the shelf for some time due to an injury. A more prepared Weidman with very little ring rust could be an even more dangerous Chris Weidman. With his first title defense on the line, and the ability to silence anyone who believes he only won because Anderson Silva toyed with his prey, Weidman has a lot more on his shoulders in this fight than he is letting on.
The fact remains that Weidman had little success in the first fight. The most success he had outside of the left hook that knocked Silva stupid was in the first round where he took the champion down and worked some ground n’ pound and looked for a submission. However, what happens to Weidman if he is blitzed in the fashion Silva is accustomed to rushing victims. Can he survive that onslaught?
See, those are the things that make this second fight such an intriguing rematch. Silva provided very little in their first fight outside of taunting and feigning injury until his eyes rolled to the back of his head. Striking is Silva’s arena and he certainly does have the ability to finish the fight and so does his opponent, as Weidman proved that true already. However, staying away from those strikes will be essential for Weidman if Silva is focused and on his game. Which leaves the most sensible strategy of takedowns and submissions.
Much of the first fight was hilariously bad in terms of what each fighter brought to the Octagon. No one knows what will happen this time around, as each fighter did not look entirely impressive nor did they implement their gameplans the way everyone had anticipated. Weidman has to go into this fight still threatened by the mystery of Silva, but also confident that he can end the second fight just as he did in the first one. Weidman has the daunting pressure of ensuring himself and the skeptics that he defeated Anderson Silva off of his ability to finish fights, not because Silva allowed himself to fall victim to a stray punch. To become the champion that the media has made him out to be, Weidman has to end this fight spectacularly to herald himself as the next dominant middleweight champion.
UFC 168: Weidman – “I Have No Doubt”
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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