Watching Chris Weidman thoroughly dismantle Mark Munoz on Wednesday night was not something many people predicted. In fact if anyone was going to be the dominant fighter Munoz would probably have gotten the nod based upon the fact that he has more experience and seemed to be a bit stronger than the Hofstra graduate.
As the old saying goes, “This is why they play the game,” and that phrase couldn’t ring more true than it does in this case. Weidman came, he saw and he conquered. He then went on to call out UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva in a post fight interview in which Weidman looked like he barely broke a sweat.
Chael Sonnen may not have defeated Silva, but he did provide a blue print on how to go about facing “The Spider.” Wrestling, wrestling, wrestling, that is the one and only weakness that Silva has. Pressure him, put him on his back and try to slow him down and keep him off his feet where he is all too dangerous for any other fighter in this world not named Jon Jones.
Is Weidman ready for Silva? No one thought Sonnen, a man who up until a three fight winning streak against the likes of Dan Miller, Yushin Okami and Nate Marquardt, was not considered a top of the food chain middleweight. In this sport it is never wise to judge a book by its cover. Weidman has been competing in sports for a very long time and loves to compete. He is a natural athlete and has an incredible work ethic. Anyone who cuts over 30lbs in less than two weeks takes his craft very seriously.
What Weidman has that Sonnen doesn’t is superior Jiu-Jitsu, both offensively and defensively and is much more fluid on his feet. “The All-American” also seems to have more power than the self professed American Gangster from West Linn, OR! Sonnen said himself after the fight was over that he considered Weidman the best middleweight in the UFC. Pretty high praise from a man many still consider the number two middleweight in the world.
Does the UFC throw Weidman in with Silva and give him the opportunity to fight for the middleweight title or do they risk having him fight another top contender like Michael Bisping or the winner of Tim Boetsch-Hector Lombard? Weidman’s popularity is sky high right now. He’s undefeated; he’s clean cut and has an unbelievable attitude towards the sport and his opponents. He is a fight promoters dream.
I say give him a shot, at just 28-years-old he still has plenty of time to recover should he lose to Silva. At just 28-years-old he has yet to reach his physical prime which is a very scary thought for anyone who steps inside the Octagon with him. If he beats Silva he’ll be an instant star, someone who people will pay to watch fight. If he loses, he still is early enough in his career to improve and get back in the title hunt.
Pull the trigger Dana White. Call Joe Silva and have him offer Weidman an opportunity to end Silva’s title reign and at the same time begin what could be an extraordinary career of his own. Can you imagine if the sport was legal here in NY and a CWeidman-Silva bout was the headline fight of the first ever UFC card in Madison Square Garden?
Unfortunately that is too far off, but signing this fight is still the right move, no matter where it takes place. Weidman has answered the call every time the phone has rang and he sent a clear cut message this past Wednesday night. He is not only physically ready for “The Spider”; he is also mentally ready as well.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC