Chael Sonnen Believes Chris Weidman Can Do What He Couldn’t… Beat Anderson Silva

June 19, 2013
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Chris WeidmanChael Sonnen has twice faced UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva, and twice he has fallen short.

Despite losing, fighting the man many already consider the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, twice, gives Sonnen a unique insight into what it will take to finally topple Silva.

He believes that Chris Weidman, whom Silva will face at UFC 162 on July 6, is the perfect storm of skills and mental makeup to challenge and possibly even dethrone Silva.

“You don’t have to look to far to realize Chris Weidman has the exact skill set to beat Anderson Silva,” Sonnen declared on Tuesday’s edition of UFC Tonight. “And he’s also got it upstairs. He’s been in tough matches.

“He has a better top game, at least submission-wise, than I do, and I was able to have some success for several minutes with Anderson from that position.”

The 29-year-old Weidman has yet to taste defeat in his nine professional bouts, and he has the brash confidence of youth on his side. There’s also a lot of weight to Silva’s 33-4 record, which dwarfs Weidman’s, and the 38 years of wisdom he has amassed.

Sonnen gives Weidman his due as the man that holds the potential to upset Silva, but doesn’t deny the champion’s greatness.

“Let’s also understand,” said Sonnen, “if Anderson Silva wins this fight, the debate ends. He is the best fighter of all time.”

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  • Sir_Roy

    Weidman is indeed a scary mix of skills for the GOAT. Anderson has yet to step into the octagon with someone of Weidman’s caliber don’t care what folks say about his experience, or lack thereof.

    The closest to an opponent who’s exhibited some of Weidman’s complete skill set was Vitor (minus the wrestling pedigree) and while I admit Silva has the precision and the skills to take Weidman out in much the same fashion, we also didn’t really get to see Silva mix it up enough with Vitor to get a just barometer IMHO.

    Dangerous fight for Silva. If he gets past Weidman, then I feel he settles the debate for a good, long while.

    • Lucas Freire

      I often agree with what you, but I just can’t stop imagining how the reactions will be if Silva defeats this guy. Sonnen at least had dominant fights against well known fighters. He defeated Dan Miller, Okami and Marquardt, and after the first fight defeated Stan and Bisping. Say what you want about Sonnen’s title shot on LHW, but on MW he was indeed the top contender.

      Now to Weidman, it doesn’t matter if he has few fights, what matters is WHO he defeated. Maia and Munoz. Munoz was considered #2 on the division after defeating Maia and Leben??? Munoz was the biggest hypetrain of the division.
      Mais is a great grappler, and achieved a few wins but is way too small for the division.

      He has a great skillset? Sure. He has some striking skills and great wrestling, but I just don’t think it’s on Champion tier. As I will say again, every single fighter that fought Silva was hyped as the solution to solve the Silva puzzle, every single one was defeated. I don’t think Weidman is as dominant as a prospect Jon Jones were, and I really don’t think he’s the biggest challenge of the division.

      • Baller31

        The only two people to win rounds against Silva in the UFC have been the only two wrestlers he has fought(Henderson, Sonnen). Obviously, takedown defense is his weakness. However, Silva is expected to win, and is a big favorite..but what’s left for him if he does? I think the only logical thing is a superfight with Jones if he wins. I’m not excited about any of the other MW matchups..maybe Belfort but after the first fight I don’t think he’s mentally strong enough to handle Silva.

        • Lucas Freire

          Yeah I get it that his weakness is takedown defense. What I mean is that the only two people to win rounds against him had the right skillset but also faced top competition top backup their skills. We can all think about more than 10 fighters who were absolutely amazing against less known fighters, but when it came to fight with top guys they weren’t that good anymore.
          The problem about Weidman isn’t the fact that he has few fights but that he hasn’t faced any real top competition other than Demian Maia.

        • Ian Price

          Agree, but would still enjoy a silva Belfort II

    • I think Anderson Silva has done enough in his career and has proven himself. Him beating someone with 9 fights does nothing for him except shut up fans who continue to over look his success and hype up every guy who fights him next. The guys gone up in weight 3 times. He’s faced far more experienced fighters each of who were at a very high level in the specific craft. Hendo’s wrestling. Thailes Leites, Maia and Travis Lutter jiujitsu. The durability of Stephen Bonnar. The striking of Vitor.

      • natpaukar7

        Enough said good sir! I totally agree…who ever he fights after he demolishes Weidman (with ease) will have the same “scary skill set” I’m sure of it.

        • Weidman is talented, I mean he’s doing well so far; but Silva deserves more respect when his name is brought up. It’s insane and insulting to say Weidman will destroy him and it’s disrespectful to all the other fighters who fought Silva and had well over 9 fights. Experienced veterans who fought all over the world. Every Silva fight I’m on the edge of my seat no matter who he fights, hoping he can continue his streak.

          • Ian Price

            At first I was cheering for silva. Then after all those wins and the Maia fight, I was cheering against him. I’m still cheering against, but as some point I’ll probably revert back to a silva fan simply due to his age. Or if he ever fights Jones or JDS or somebody….

          • The only reason I’m not counting him out at his age is b/c he has not slowed down a bit. He looked incredible against Bonnar who was never finished and he stopped him like nothing, and that was going up in weight. I personally don’t care if he fights Jones b/c Silva has been around way longer then Jones, so Jones still has a few fights in his own weight class. He’s an incredible fighter but he has to put his time in like everyone else. Silva has done enough. I would really like to see him retire with all he has accomplished.

          • encoro-encuero

            When Silva fights I swear I’m on the verge of a heart attack every single time.

          • lol I hear you. No matter who he faces, I try not to even blink. He could either win or eventually be beaten in a split second, anything can happen in there.

      • Sir_Roy

        I don’t entirely disagree … but I am a huge advocate of “styles make fights”.

        Point out one fighter Silva’s faced with Weidman’s known skill set? Right then. You can’t just say “well, he’s only had 9 fights” and leave things at that. Weidman is exciting due to a plethora of training partners decrying just how skilled he is in every level of the game. Weidman has Sonnen’s wrestling pedigree coupled with high level BJJ – a dangerous coupling of skills that Sonnen lacked. He’s also a better, more powerful striker than Sonnen in GnP and standing. (Though if he stands with Silva, he’ll get mauled all the same).

        So 9 fights notwithstanding, those facts make this a very interesting and dangerous fight for Silva. It’s not disrespecting the GOAT in saying so. I wouldn’t bet against Anderson, but this is the first competitor that I’ve given a half a chance to. Ever.

        • If Weidman wins he’s going to ruin any super fight talk of Jones and Silva! That’s what makes me extra nervous.

          • Ian Price

            I hear that. However, if that happens, it’s entirely possible silva will move down to 170…

          • I would dislike that very much. The guy has taken fights at LHW, to see him cut to 170 would have to take a toll on his body at this time in his career.

          • there will be no superfights. GSP wants no part of silva and Jones and Silva both claim they have too much to lose fighting each other

          • If this is true what do you think should be next for Silva? Jacre Souza? Tim Kennedy? I wouldn’t mind those fights but it’s all I can think of.

    • Baller31

      I like both Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman, and I too believe that Weidman has what it takes on paper to win this match. What he does when he enters the octagon remains to be seen. His wrestling is as good or better than any fighter out there (he has beaten ryan bader and phil davis in wrestling matches) he has very good striking (ko’s include Munoz, Uriah Hall), and he has very high level jiu jitsu. Anderson Silva is one of the top two fighters in the world, so obviously Weidman has never faced anyone with his pedigree. I am really excited to see how this plays out.

    • milkfromtigganits

      Thanks Chael (nice try pretending you said anything Chael didn’t)

      • Sir_Roy

        Absolutely pointless comment. But thanks for coming out champ.

  • DamianCross

    god help us the day chael becomes the authority on anything, especially MMA picks and debates.

    • Jack Burton

      What are you talking about, he is, he’s on national TV.

      • DamianCross

        So’s Kim Kardashian.

        • durka

          Yes, they’re both on TV for what they know how to do.

          Chael is on TV because he knows fighting.

          Kim is on TV because she knows whoring.

          • Baller31

            that was great, i have to agree

          • DamianCross

            Or the opposite.

  • Vaibombar

    kkkkkkkkkk,,just make me laugh how some people think that weedman can win this fight, the guy has a split decision win over damian maia and maia was winning the stand up..How can this chris win???how??? Just if anderson ask the reef to handcuff him maybe this way weedman can win…

    • Baller31

      The decision over Maia was unanimous, first of all. Secondly, he took the fight on 9 days notice…and beat Maia, Guess who else beat Maia by decision?? yep…Anderson Silva, who had a full camp to prepare.

      • Vaibombar

        R u sure did u watch maia vs weedman fight??? the decision was SPLIT DECISION my friend u better go there and watch it again,and maia was winning the stand up..Imagine what anderson can do to him???? No more comments….

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      Don’t forget how big a weight cut he had to make on short notice against Maia. It’s a miracle he didn’t end up in the hospital.

  • Edgar ontano

    No,no, no. Silva is the greatest of all time weidman 9 fights? Silva has been in wars weidman not so much, silva will leave 162 and still be champ.

    • although weidman only has 9 fights hes been in numerous wrestling matches which adds to his experience, he’s 13-0 at grapplers guest and was one match away from winning ADCC, and a 2 time NCAA div. 1 all american. He’s no rookie to combat sports.

      • MMA wrestling is a lot different then college wrestling. It’s a great base of course. I don’t believe I’ve seen him dominate anyone in a severe manner other then Munoz. If he can work on his kickboxing he can be a big threat Let’s see how he does against Silva because every guy who faces Silva next is always hyped up then dominated. I expected better from Bonnar especially on roids. .

      • Sir_Roy

        Very solid points.

      • Edgar ontano

        didn’t know that but even with all that i just dont see Silva losing one day it will happen just not 162

  • tyrone

    Weidman wins this, 1 st rd ko by gnp

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Regarless of Weidman’s 9 fights, champs need to fight the top contenders. Simple as that. That’s why Weidman got this fight.

  • hernan marquez

    I dont get it, every time the champ gonna have a title defense,people start talking !oh this is the guy whos gonna beat anderson!, and what happend next,nothing. Let,s be real the spider has a gift ,and to defeat the champ he has to make a mistake,thing that anderson is prepapre to no make mistakes. Thats why is the pound for pound best fighter ever.

  • raun

    If Silva wins this fight, he needs to move up to Light Heavyweight. end of story