Although many of his peers were saying that Chris Weidman could defeat Anderson Silva at UFC 162 on Saturday night in Las Vegas, not many picked him to knock Silva out cold, which is exactly what he did.
Weidman took the fight to Silva from the opening bell, taking “the Spider” down and working his ground and pound attack, but couldn’t keep him there. Silva danced and taunted Weidman for much of the latter half of the opening frame, and again to start round two.
Weidman remained patient, timed his attacks, and eventually caught Silva with a left hook, flooring the UFC’s longest reigning middleweight champion and finishing him off with strikes at the 1:18 mark of the second round.
UFC welterweight champion and part-time Weidman training partner Georges St-Pierre was one of the fighters who was confident that Weidman could pull off the upset, but even he was surprised by the way it ended.
“I predict Chris Weidman was going to win, but I didn’t think he was going to win the way that he won,” St-Pierre told PokerListings.com. St-Pierre was competing in this year’s World Series of Poker Main Event when the poker site caught up with him on Sunday.
“I thought he was going to win on the ground with ground and pound or maybe some submission, and he won with a beautiful knockout standing up.”
Prior to the loss to Weidman, Silva had won 16 consecutive UFC fights, and all 11 of his prior title bouts. He held the UFC middleweight championship since October of 2006, and even bounced up to light heavyweight on three occasions, utterly destroying his opposition in the higher weight class: James Irvin, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar.
Heading into Saturday's fight, he was widely considered the greatest fighter on the planet. The loss may shake some people's opinions, but it’s a distinction that St-Pierre still applies to Silva.
“I think Silva got caught. I think Silva is still the best in the world, but he just got caught,” said the welterweight champ.
“You always recognize a great champion by how they come back from a loss. I know that Anderson has come back from a loss before, from adversity in his fight, and he’s the greatest of all time for sure.”
Although St-Pierre believes Silva will bounce back, he also thinks that his friend could beat him again, should there be a rematch.
“I believe he can win a rematch again.”