Like a nerdy teen trying to book a second date with the hot chick before the first date is over, UFC President Dana White has announced that Anderson Silva will get a rematch with UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman three days after Christmas on Dec. 28 at UFC 168.
What’s the rush? Does White hate Weidman that much? The UFC got luckier than the New York Giants seeing Kyle Williams return a punt when Weidman knocked out a clowning Silva on July 6 in Las Vegas — instantly, a star was born.
Now White wants to go mess with the fortune gods and potentially give back the gold that was handed to him? White needs a crash-course in ”The Art of Building Stars” quick, because he’s about to ruin the best thing to land on his lap since Brock Lesnar.
Without saying it outright, most of the MMA world believes that Weidman got lucky when he knocked out Silva. Yes, Weidman is respected and many top stars believed he had a shot to upset the great Silva, but no one could have predicted that he would treat the so-called greatest mixed martial artist ever like he were Ric Flair fake-falling from a Lex Luger flurry.
So give Weidman a break. He did the impossible. Let him beat up on a couple of mid-carders to build-up a mega rematch with Silva next summer.
Let Weidman slap around Vitor Belfort and remind the Brazilian comeback kid that God doesn’t really care about his MMA record as much as he thinks he does. Let Weidman fight Michael Bisping, who despite his fluke loss to Belfort, deserves a title shot.
It’s not like the Weidman vs. Silva fight is going away. It will always be there. The longer they wait, the more money it will bring. No one’s looking to re-book the Super Bowl in August just because Colin Kaepernick forgot how to pass under pressure last February. People will still watch the Super Bowl next year.
What the UFC does risk is blowing Weidman’s amazing story as All-American-hero-wrestler-who-upset-the-mythical-Anderson Silva and went on to breathe new life into a great sport that is desperately in need of a new generation of stars. It’s possible that Silva will actually come to fight on Dec. 28, having found his groove again after a good run on the beach with Apollo Creed, and knock or tap out Weidman.
Then what does the UFC have? Silva regains his crown while a dejected Weidman, with Joe Rogan’s arm slung over his back in the post-fight interview, tells the world he promises to come back “better than ever.” And Silva threatening to retire (hold out for more money for a Jon Jones fight) after regaining his gold?
In other words, the UFC would be back where it started, except without that rising star Weidman.
In terms of business, just because Weidman knocked out Silva doesn’t make him a star with longevity. The UFC needs to build his star. He’s a star for now, but that’s it, kind of like how Vanilla Ice rocked 1990. He’s big. Super Big. But if the UFC throws Weidman back into the cage with Silva so quickly, we may just know Weidman as the fad in the summer of 2013.