The UFC 162 PPV event is set to take place on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’ll be headlined by the middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and undefeated challenger Chris Weidman.
The preliminary fights will begin on Facebook at 7 p.m. ET, and begin airing on the FX channel at 8:00 p.m. ET. The PPV main card will air in the usual 10 p.m. ET time slot.
There seems to be an overwhelming push to market Chris Weidman as the guy to dethrone the longest reigning champion in UFC history. We have high profile fighters picking Weidman to beat Silva, which is something we didn’t really see in the rematch between Sonnen/Silva after Sonnen dominating the champ like no other before succumbing to a submission in the final round. Is it a marketing ploy by the UFC to drum up hype to stoke PPV buys since casual fans don’t really know who Weidman is? It’s possible, as Weidman has never even fought on a PPV card. The great thing about this fight is that Silva will be granted an immediate rematch should he lose, and deservedly so, which would also help solidify Weidman as a legit champion since he would have to defeat Silva twice.
Anyways, enough about that, let’s get to the real reason you are reading this article. Can Weidman defeat Silva at UFC 162? Sure, if you’ve read my material before, you know I’m all about the percentages of something happening. Weidman could hit Silva with a punch right on the button and the fight is over, or he could latch onto a guillotine choke after getting into a scramble on the mat and force a tap. However, the likelihood of either of those things happening are very small.
Chris Weidman hasn’t fought in over a year which is a huge obstacle in and of itself. Fighters rarely perform well coming off long layoffs as it usually takes them a while to get their timing down, not to mention their cardio and the pace of a real fight. Fighters will tell you all day, you can train all you want, but the speed/pace of an actual fight is a totally different animal. So that’s a very large obstacle for Weidman to overcome, not to mention he’s fighting arguably the greatest fighter in the history of MMA.
Which brings me to my next point.
Anderson Silva has fought fighters similar to Chris Weidman. He has fought great wrestlers, bigger fighters, submission specialists, fighters will huge KO power, and fighters that relatively well rounded skill wise. However, Weidman has never sniffed a fighter that’s in the same galaxy as Anderson Silva when it comes to overall skills. No disrespect to Weidman, but his biggest win is over Mark Munoz whose biggest win was over Demian Maia. Weidman also defeated Maia, granted the fight was on very short notice, but the rest of his opponents are journeymen fighters that are not even close to being elite..
Now, I’m not trying to use MMA math here, but I’m just pointing out that Weidman hasn’t fought elite competition. I understand that fights are all about style matchups, and it’s true that Weidman does have a skill-set that could pose problems for Silva.
Also, the book on Silva is that the path to victory is to take him down either grind out a victory or obviously try to finish him on the ground since his striking is light years better than his opponents. Now, if the Chael Sonnen fights had never happened, I’d give Weidman a better shot at pulling off the upset. However, the experience that Silva gained against a wrestler the caliber of Sonnen is invaluable and has helped him prepare for someone with the style of Weidman.
Also, I think the first fight between Silva and Sonnen is a bit of an anomaly. Silva supposedly had a rib injury, Sonnen was jacked up on TRT, and Silva reportedly really wanted to submit Sonnen (which he did) because of Sonnen’s personal attacks on the Nogueira brothers (who Silva trains BJJ with). So I’m not sure the success that Sonnen had in the first fight is something that could happen again, I mean we all saw Silva shut his wrestling down in the second fight.
Also, Sonnen would completely sell out to get the takedown, meaning he would just come forward and eat a punch or a kick to secure the takedown. Weidman hasn’t really shown he’s willing to do that, and not many have granite chins like Chael Sonnen.
The one thing going for Weidman is that Silva often chooses to play a defensive guard once he has been taken down. He likes to lock up a body triangle on his opponents which keep them from doing a lot of damage, but it also keeps him from getting to his feet where he is the most dangerous against his opponents. IF Weidman can survive on the feet and eventually get Silva to the ground, it’s possible that he could steal enough rounds to win the fight.
However, 25 minutes is a LONG time to go without getting hit on the button by a fighter that lands strikes at an astounding 67% clip.
I would be surprised to see Weidman defeat Silva unless Silva showboats entirely too much during the fight and gets caught or something. The long layoff, lack of experience against good competition coupled with what Silva brings to the table is just too much to overcome.
I expect Silva to finish Weidman via TKO.