What new Champ Chris Weidman did MUCH differently than Maia, Bonnar, others

Posted: July 8, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, Latest news, UFC Events
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weidmansilvaA couple days have passed since the shocker of the year took place at UFC 162—and quite honestly, with all the so-called “experts” picking Weidman to beat Silva, why were there so many stunned faces in the crowd? But after gathering myself and thinking about what just happened, there are a couple themes I want to address.

First this morning, I’d like to address Weidman’s mindset coming into (and during) the fight against the greatest fighter in history. Chris Weidman repeatedly said in pre fight interviews that he wasn’t afraid of Anderson Silva. I suppose plenty of fighters have said this—and almost as many have been lying. The Spider has a tendency of making opponents do things they didn’t mean to do. And I don’t just mean during the fight. Take a look at the differences between Demian Maia and Weidman.

Maia was scared shitless and it showed. If Maia extended a hand; Silva refused it and instead bowed. What was Maia’s response? An awkward bow. If Silva knelt on the ground, guess what? Maia got down on the ground too. I’m most curious to find out if Silva had attached a dog collar around Maia’s neck, if he would have let The Spider rub his tummy. I think he would.

By comparison, Weidman stuck out a glove pre-fight after introductions. Silva—not surprisingly—didn’t follow. Instead he refused the glove tap, stepped back and bowed to Weidman. This was basically an “I don’t follow your lead; you follow MY lead” gesture. Maia—and others—would have shrugged and bowed. Weidman simply walked back to his corner.

Legitimate fighters have seemed just happy to be in the same cage as Silva. Weidman says he always pictured himself not only fighting Silva, but beating Silva. Afterwards he wasn’t saying how great Silva is/was like Stephan Bonnar did. He didn’t joke about getting humiliated by Silva, like Forrest Griffin did. Instead he knocked Silva out and—if you can read lips—Weidman wasn’t surprised, as much as angry that Silva tried to pull that “disrespectful bullshit” on him during the fight. (Re-reading his lips, he might have called Silva a “disrespectful piece of shit,” but either way, the message is the same.)

In all sports, the mental game is a huge part of separating good from bad; and great from good. The sport of MMA is certainly no exception. And Anderson Silva’s physical and mental superiority over the years made him virtually unbeatable. He’s fought against guys who haven’t feared him—Sonnen and Henderson come to mind. And he’s fought against other tremendously skilled athletes. But so far—until Saturday—no one had combined those two qualities like Chris Weidman was able to do.

Weidman made history this weekend. He knocked out the guy most consider the greatest of all time. It wasn’t a lucky punch. It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a fix (if you think it was fixed, get a grip). Chris Weidman beat Silva because he was ready to do so both mentally and physically. And now he’s the champ.

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