It finally happened. After ten straight title defenses and making countless opponents look silly, Anderson Silva’s reign as champion has come to an end. This was a day that many never saw coming, the ‘Spider’ is human after all. Chris Weidman made his victory even more improbable by letting Silva get into his head and alter his game plan, then knocking out the greatest fighter in MMA history.
Chris Weidman had an advantage on the ground. He controlled Silva for much of the first round, something we all figured would happen should the fight hit the mat.
Interestingly after the fighters returned to their feet, Weidman fell for the taunting antics that made Silva so entertaining to watch during his run as champion. Weidman only attempted one other take down, which was stuffed, the rest of the fight.
Just 1:18 into the second round, Weidman did the unthinkable. With Silva taunting him by putting his hands at his sides and punching his own chin, even fake stumbling several times, Weidman Clipped Silva with a left hook that floored the champion. His eyes rolled back into his head as he hit the canvas, and the magical run of the past six years came to an abrupt and surreal end.
You can watch Silva’s reign as champion come to an end in the video below.
Taunting his opponents was a major component of Silva’s reign as UFC middleweight champion, however tonight it finally caught up with him. UFC President Dana White had no sympathy for the way his star fighter fought tonight, saying “He was messing with Weidman’s head, and if he did it and knocked him out, he’d be a genius,” Dana said. “He decided the way he wanted to fight … he got clipped. Tonight, it caught up to him.”
People have long expected someone to finally catch Silva when he puts his hands down and decides to dodge blows with just his head movement. Tonight Chris Weidman finally was able to do so.
A rematch is in the works as Weidman’s next fight according to Dana White, although Anderson Silva stated after the fight that he has no plans to once again fighting for UFC gold. In his post fight interview, Silva said that “I’m thinking of going home, and then thinking of what I’m going to do after that in three or four months. There’s a lot of pressure in defending the title. I want to take some time.” He also talked extensively about spending time with his family, as well as thanking America for all they have done for him since he joined the UFC.
Dana White and Chris Weidman want the rematch to happen though, and according to Dana he will get what he wants. “I’ve never had a problem getting Anderson to fight, he’s never turned down a fight or said, ‘I don’t want this guy,’ ” White said. “He’s been a great champion and a man of his word,” the UFC President explained.
A highlight reel finish to an astonishing reign as UFC Champion for Anderson Silva. Chris Weidman now has earned the rights to start his own run at defending the title. After the fight he said “I want to hold onto this belt for as long as I can,” he has ten defenses to go to approach the record set by the man he just defeated.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express