Anderson Silva finally paid the price for his cocky attitude in the cage on Saturday night at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, and lost his middleweight title to Chris Weidman in a stunning upset.
Weidman connected with a beautiful left hook to the point of the former champion’s chin in the second round just as Silva was feigning injury after a previous punch and clowning for the crowd. The punch dropped Silva like a sack of potatoes. Weidman immediately swarmed the champ with a succession of smashing punches that knocked Silva’s head back against the mat and forced Referee Herb Dean to step in and stop the fight.
Prior to the unexpected finish, Weidman had a strong start in the first, taking Silva down and tenderizing him a bit before the fighters ended up back on their feet. Silva’s antics started early as he began to find his range and baited Weidman in by dropping his guard, putting his hands on his waist, and repeatedly waving Weidman in, literally asking for trouble.
Silva’s seven-year run as the middleweight title holder is now over, and what might be even more shocking than his loss is his lack of any real desire to earn that belt back before he officially retires from mixed martial arts.
“I worked hard for this fight,” Silva told UFC Commentator Joe Rogan after the loss. He thanked the fans and his UFC bosses before giving all the credit to his opponent. “Chris Weidman tonight is the best. He’s the new champion.”
He went on to explain that he did not want a rematch, sounding for a moment as if he might quit MMA altogether. Instead, he reminded Rogan that he still has a 10-fight contract to fulfill and explained that he just won’t pursue the title again.
Weidman confessed to Rogan that he thought the idea of him beating Silva was “far-fetched,” but he also explained, “I felt I was destined for this.” He detailed how he prepared for the flashy and reckless tactics Anderson would bring into the fight, purposely bringing people in to try to get into his head throughout his whole training camp.
“It pisses me off,” he said about dealing with fighters like Silva who don’t respect their opponents enough to stick to a more proven defensive strategy. “I looked up to that guy for a long time,” Weidman admitted. “He was an idol of mine.”
The win marks the 10th-straight MMA victory for Weidman and the first UFC loss for Silva, whose record now drops to 33-5.
One important message the result of this fight should send to mixed martial artists everywhere is that there’s no room for overconfidence and game playing in the cage. This is a serious business, and no matter how good you think you are, all it takes is one mistake for someone to prove you wrong.