Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chris Weidman does not need a rematch with Anderson Silva - that's absurd

Sometimes, it's vexing that only ten people read my posts, but I'll say it anyway: Chris Weidman does not need a rematch against Anderson Silva.  Weidmen, okay, I'm going to say this but it's true, Weidman dominated Silva.  When Anderson held up his hands, Chris took him down.  When Anderson kept his hands down, Weidman knocked him the fuck out.  I am not here to praise Silva but to bury him.

Silva is, without doubt, a great MMA fighter.  But let's face it, he's had just about as much luck as a man could have in his opponents.  Most of his opponents would have been gatekeepers, at best, in other weight classes - and we have examples of this, such as Demain Maia and Nate Marquart.  While Maia has done well at welterweight, Marquart has done less son; neither looks like championship material.  The subsequent careers of people like Patrick Cote and Thales Leites should indicate, as well, how absolutely mediocre many of Silva's opponents have been.  Travis Lutter didn't make weight for their championship tilt - he didn't make weight for a championship fight! - and he was weak and slow during the whole fight.  Yushin Okami has always been a C+ fighter, good at nothing in particular, but he's big and strong.

His notable wins are against Dan Henderson, a fighter whom I adore but has never been able to do as well in the Octogon as in other promotions, a pre-TRT Vitor Belfort and the workmanlike champion, Rich Franklin.  When one looks at the killer's row that every other champion (with the exception of heavyweight, which has always been the weakest division) has faced, Silva's opponents have been, generally, a sorry lot.

The only person who had Silva really threatened, before Weidman, was Chael Sonnen.  But Sonnen's contempt for Brazilian jiu jitsu cost him the first fight with a bare two minutes to go and Sonnen's mental collapse during their second fight lost him the battle, there.  Sonnen had all the physical skills to beat Silva but few of the mental ones.  Sonnen chokes at the highest levels of competition.

Silva's non-middleweight fights are worse.  James Irving?  Who cares?  Oh, then there is the mediocre Stephan Bonnar - an amusing fighter, at times, but why on earth was he in the same fucking cage as Anderson Silva?  Silva's luck abounds with his opponents.  (As it did with Forrest Griffin, too, who fought a stupid fight, winging shots, overreaching as Silva danced around him, rather than using his greater size and strength to take it to the ground where Griffin could have won the fight.  But, nope, Griffin dispensed with the kind of strategy that allowed him to beat Rampage and decided, instead, get into a fist fight with Silva!  If he'd fought that way against Rampage, the fight would have ended the same way.  Lucky, lucky Silva.)

Furthermore, what Silva did he did for a reason.  It was not hubris or arrogance.  In the first round, when Silva had his hands up, Weidman took him down and beat the shit out of him.  Silva has had, traditionally, good head movement, and with his hands down, he was in a much better position to stuff Weidman's takedowns.  Silva has won fights with shadow punches but it was clear Weidman had trained against that - he was not hurt by Silva at all.  But the strategy that Silva employed was out of necessity.  He needed his hands down to stay on his feet, which he needed to do to win, and he clowned around to try and get Weidman to charge in, swinging, so he could catch him with a shadow punch.  Alas, because for perhaps the first time in Silva's career, he fought a fighter who had actually prepared to fight him (including, apparently, dealing with Silva clowning him), one who had prepared to fight the fight that Silva fights . . . and he dominated.  Weidman dominated on the ground, he dominated standing up.  Weidman is the better fighter, or at least he was this time.

Rematch with Silva?  Yeah, Weidman beats Silva up in the first round, knocks him out in the second.  There is no need for a rematch.  Weidman ran away with it.

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