As Chris Weidman aims to get back on the winning track this weekend, we look back on the fight that boosted him into recognition.
For seven long years beginning in 2006, the name Anderson Silva seemed to strike fear into the rest of the UFC’s middleweight division. “The Spider” racked up one highlight reel finish after another, making him look like a supernatural being among mere humans.
It all changed on the night of July 6th, 2013 at UFC 162, when Chris Weidman was next in line to challenge Silva for the title. Weidman, then undefeated with a 9-0 record, says he never felt the same intimidation that his fellow 185-pounders did when they were up against Silva.
Weidman’s confidence did show in the fight. Refusing to stand and bang against a striker of Silva’s caliber, he instead scored a quick takedown in the opening minutes and connected some shots from up top.
The first round ended with Weidman slightly edging Silva, and as they prepared for round two, his striking coach Ray Longo had one simple and clear cut advice: “punch a hole in his f—king chest!”
Weidman did heed his coach’s advice, except that instead of targeting Silva’s chest, he swung for the chin, in which he landed a left hook that followed a short backfist that missed. Many claim it was Silva’s showboating that did him in, but a good number rightfully gave credit to Weidman.
Silva, now 42 years of age, and a product of a broken tibia bone and a tainted reputation from sex pills, is a far cry from the freak fighter that he once was. He is now looking to have a rematch against Nick Diaz, possibly aiming for some form of redemption.
Weidman, meanwhile, will be looking to snap his three-fight losing streak this Saturday, July 22nd, when he faces Kelvin Gastelum in his hometown of Long Island, New York.