Chris Weidman is a talented fighter. The fact that he defeated Anderson Silva twice, even if the second win was by way of a freak accident, proves that. He possesses the takedown ability to ground any opponent that he crosses paths with. He can also stand and trade with the best of them in the division. He may even be talented enough to hang on to the title for a short period of time, but he does not have the star power or personality to make people break the bank to watch any of his fights against someone other than Silva.
Weidman just doesn’t have the x-factor that is talked about so much in MMA and other sports. It’s not something that can be taught, it’s just something some fighters have.
For Cain Velasquez, it’s his ruthless nature. Fans have seen Velasquez bulldoze his way through every opponent put in his path, which gives him that mystique. People pay to see that.
For Jon Jones, some people love him and some people hate him. He has defeated past champion after past champion and almost wiped out the entire light-heavyweight division. People that hate him pay to watch his fights hoping someone dethrones him. For those who love him, they pay just to watch him rattle off another win.
Even now in the flyweight division, Demetrious Johnson looks almost unstoppable. After convincingly defeating Joseph Benavidez a second time, people will watch his fights to see if he can be defeated.
Even after he defeated Silva twice, Weidman still doesn’t have that “it” factor. Nobody hates Weidman, but there are not too many people that have fallen in love with him either. He did destroy Mark Munoz, who hasn’t really defeated anyone impressive since he TKO’d Chris Leben. Other than beating Silva twice is all the champ has impressive on his resume, which is better than most fighters.
Weidman still has a long career ahead of him now that Silva is in his rear view. It is likely that he will defend his title against Vitor Belfort next, barring any injury. A win against the consensus No. 1 contender will go a long way in determining just how good Weidman is.