Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman Immediate Rematch is Bad for UFC

Chris Weidman

Jayne Kamin-Oncea–USA Today Sports

On July 6, at UFC 162, middleweight No. 1 contender Chris Weidman made good on his promise that he would knock out 10-time defending champion and No. 1 mixed martial arts pound-for-pound fighter Anderson Silva. Weidman is the new middleweight champion, but his victory will be short lived. About a week later, the UFC announced the rematch, Silva vs Weidman II at UFC 168, in December. Weidman knocked out Silva with a left hook in the second round after Silva continued to taunt his opponent by keeping his hands down. This was the second biggest upset in UFC recent history since Matt Serra defeated Georges St. Pierre at UFC 69 in April 2007. Serra was a 6-1 underdog.

Immediate rematches are bad because they’re disrespectful to both fighters, especially to the underdog winner. It’s as if the fight never happened. There’s a conspiracy that the fight was fixed. Now, Weidman has to prove that his victory was no fluke. Well, upsets are one of the great things that happen in fights. You set up an immediate rematch and you take away the excitement of the upset because it will no longer be remembered if Silva wins decisively in the rematch. People will say Silva only lost because he toyed with his opponent. Silva disrespected Weidman and he paid dearly. He doesn’t deserve to be next in line.

If Weidman wins again, where does Silva go from there? A weight class change or maybe retirement. A trilogy will never be possible. That’s what happened to former lightweight champion, B.J. Penn. He defended his belt successfully three times before he lost twice to Frankie Edgar in the title fight and the immediate rematch. There’s no time for growth when there’s an immediate rematch. When Penn lost again, he moved up to welterweight. Edgar had gotten into his head and a third fight would not sell as well since he got drubbed both times.

If Weidman loses in the rematch, he loses his star appeal. Middleweight didn’t look great because Silva had the aura of invincibility. Weidman made Silva look human again. If Silva wins, Weidman returns as an unfamiliar fighter to the general public and the middleweight division becomes stagnant again because Silva is once again unbeatable.

There are other top contenders that are being disrespected by the organization. Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping and Mark Munoz – just to name a few. With an immediate rematch, every one of these fighters have to wait even longer. That was the case in the lightweight division when Benson Henderson had to defend his title against former champion Edgar. Lightweight is UFC’s deepest division. Imagine having to fight again where one loss can immediately drop you down the champion’s ladder and a victory doesn’t mean you’re the next contender because the former champion just jumped a spot ahead of you.

For all of these reason, immediate rematches are bad for business and the fighters.  Sure, the rematch will create fireworks. But then the middleweight division will remain unexciting because the UFC doesn’t respect the value of upsets.

 

Robert Lin is a writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @rlin2k or Google.


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  • Ray Smith

    LMAO… f**k that s**t! Anderson clearly deserves an immediate rematch. He basically gave the belt away, to a guy who was clearly outclassed. How in the world some of these MMA fans have turned against Silva is beyond me… I guess people love to hate on greatness & love it when greatness falls. What a shame… Silva haters make me have little hope for mankind.

  • Mervin Iverson

    This is an idiotic article, the whole point of a IMMEDIATE REMATCH is to further solidify and reinforce the fact that it was not a fluke and to insure that the new champion is deserving of the belt. Also, the defeated former champion DESERVES an IMMEDIATE REMATCH especially if he defended the damn thing 10+ times and is one of the GOAT, are you kidding me? Get your trash and nonsensical ass out of here. What a joke.

  • sylverdrag

    The rematch needs – NEEDS – to happen now.

    Weidman won, but that belt around that waist? Most people don’t really consider him the champ by anything other than a stroke of luck. So much so that bookies are considering Weidman the underdog in a rematch.

    He won, but the legacy is not passed on and it won’t be until this rematch happens. Silva has been too dominant. For several minutes, Weidman was trying his best to hit him and couldn’t, until he finally succeeded. And he succeeded but one can not overlook the fact that Silva dodged 25 punches by less than an inch, each time making it harder and harder for himself.

    “Silva went a little too far and paid for it” is what most people are saying, not “Weidman is such a stud for beating the Spider”.

    A rematch is needed to fully establish Weidman as the real belt owner, or to restore Silva’s reign.

    When should this rematch take place? Silva is 38 years old. There is a definite time limit as to when that rematch can happen and be considered meaningful.

    Business-wise, rematches are a killer: Silva vs Sonnen II was one of the best UFC PPV ever. (where Sonnen got an instant rematch for “almost” winning against Silva). Silva vs Weidman II will be a huge draw: The first fight was just “another fight with Silva and yet another over marketed opponent”. The rematch will have every one’s attention. Weidmand has shown that he can win, but he still has to prove it wasn’t a fluke. Silva is guaranteed to come in in warrior mode. No matter the outcome, it will be one hell of a fight and everyone will tune in. Further, if Weidman wins again, he will be really undisputed and that’s a good thing for a champion.

  • DT33

    I actually somewhat agree with this, at risk of being in the minority, but here’s the problem with it: If Weidman wasn’t to fight Silva in an immediate rematch and Weidman lost to someone else in his first title defense, it would obviously knock Weidman back down a few notches, maybe down to #2 behind Silva, but there would still be people saying Weidman is better than Silva. Now, if Silva won HIS next fight against someone besides Weidman and then went on to win the belt back in a following fight to whoever the title holder was who beat Weidman in his first title defense, there would STILL be people saying Weidman is better than Silva because they’ve yet to rematch.

    That’s not actually a problem as long as Weidman wins again after his title defense loss and works his way back up to a rematch against Silva for the title. However, if Weidman loses a couple times in a row, Silva may never get the chance to rematch Weidman and prove he can beat him, and there will always be those who continue to say Weidman is better than Silva, even though Silva won the belt back and Weidman lost his next couple fights. It would potentially be a couple years of annoying back-and-forth controversy as to who really is better because of how their first fight went down.

    The only way to settle it definitively is to have an immediate rematch. If Weidman is truly the better fighter, he doesn’t need more time to sharpen his skills. He’s being given the same amount of time Silva has. It’s not like Silva is going to add a who new multitude of weapons to his arsenal. I’d rather see an immediate rematch than have the controversy drag out for a long time.

    I tried to explain this hypothetical scenario the best I could. Sorry if it’s confusing.