He didn’t show any fear at the opening of the fight, and he certainly didn’t show any when he knocked Anderson Silva out early in the second round.
Many people said he could do it, many didn’t believe it… but in the end, Chris Weidman became the new UFC middleweight champion in the world.
Weidman took the fight to Silva, putting him on the mat and scoring with his ground and pound attack in round one. He switched gears, attacking with a couple leg lock attempts, but Silva escaped back to his feet and started to taunt Weidman.
Silva’s approach seemed to be working as he danced around the Octagon, clapping his hands, tapping himself on the chin, urging Weidman to engage, and then evading his punches, countering with sharp leg kicks.
The man many consider the greatest mixed martial artist of all time continued his dancing around and toying with Weidman in the second round, trying to coax Weidman into a mistake.
That proved to be a mistake for Silva.
Little more than a minute into the second round, Silva was dancing around with his hands at his sides, when Weidman moved in and crushed him with a left hook that sent the champion to the canvas.
Avoiding the deer-in-the-headlights look that you might expect from such a turn of events, Weidman immediately pounced on Silva, landing a couple more punches for good measure, before referee Herb Dean stepped in to wave off the fight.
It was that quick, that simple, and Chris Weidman became the UFC middleweight champion of the world.
All confidence before the fight, Weidman seemed somewhat in disbelief after he accomplished his goal.
“He’s unbeatable, the fricking Bruce Lee of mixed martial arts,” he said after the fight. “Only God could make this possible.”
Weidman said he expected Silva to employ the tack he did, taunting the New Yorker, but he knew patience was the key.
“I just knew little by little, I’m gonna keep on him and when he’s sleeping, I’m gonna get him,” said the new champion.
“I just have to say all respect to Anderson Silva. I’ll give him and immediate rematch if he wants to do it.”
Silva, however, said that he didn’t want a rematch. In fact, he almost sounded relieved to no longer carry the weight of champion on his shoulders as well as around his waist.
“Chris is the champion now,” said Silva, head held high. “I finish my work. I know more fight for the belt. I fight for the belt for a long time. I’m tired.”
That almost sounds as if he were preparing to retire, but Silva that’s not the case either.
“No (I’m not retiring). I have 10 more fights. I fight no more for the belt.”
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