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By: Raz, MMATorch Contributor
Today we're taking a close look at last weekend's UFC 162 main event between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman in an attempt to unfold everything that happened. Now as everyone knows this fight saw Anderson Silva as the favourite to win over a young and tough Chris Weidman. With a victory for the "GOAT" this would have propelled him out of his division and into the unknown territory of super fights. The question we must ask is this: where did it all go so wrong?
Let's break down the moments that made all the difference…
Weidman was first to walk into the arena with the crowd giving him a mixed reaction, but none of this fazed him. He looked calm and collected, and knew what he was going to do. He had what we would call "The eye of the tiger." He looked ready, and in his mind he wouldn't be thinking "I am about to fight the Greatest of all time," but instead "This is my time." With that mentality he was going in strong.
Silva was the next to make the walk and he was met with mostly a positive reaction from the crowd, but as per usual he was in his zone. He showed love for his team with a hug to each of them and to him this was another day at the office. He didn't seem confident, but neither did he seem in any way fazed. He knew the task at hand and was prepared. He seemed overly calm as he entered the cage, but this isn't unusual as shown in his previous fights. In his mind he would have felt relaxed and thinking "let's see what this kids got."
The two would have been mentally in a different state from the beginning of this fight to the end, with the dominant champion feeling this calm and relaxed, while the challenger entered feeling this was his destiny.
Herb Dean brought the fighters in to touch gloves and there is an awkward moment when neither fight raise their glove; after a few seconds Weidman lifts his hand, but in that awkward moment Silva simply replies with a bow.
Both fighters come out to the centre quick with Silva angling towards either side circling whilst Weidman simply moves forward. Silva bounces around trying to gauge. Weidman goes in for the first takedown and he gets it without much of a struggle. At this moment Weidman's confidence is through the roof and it starts to hit him that he has just taken down the GOAT. Weidman is trying to pour it onto Silva but not many shots seem to be landing and none of them are clean enough to bother Silva.
At this point Silva wants to get up to his feet. Silva ties up Weidman and is slowly trying to find his way up but Weidman drops for a leglock and has a hold of Silva's leg; however, Silva simply pushes away and stands straight up. This is a key moment in the fight as Weidman has had his way of being on top, he has tied up a submission, he has pushed the pace and Anderson is stood over him. At this moment Silva would have felt this was still just another day at the office and now its time to finish the job as he has seen what Weidman has and it isn't enough.
Weidman at this moment loses a fair bit of confidence knowing that he had his way and couldn't control or be very effective. At this point, Weidman stands and looks to chase Silva. Anderson stand back against the cage and simply starts to move his head out of the way of Weidman's jabs. This reminds Weidman and the rest of the crowd of the Bonner fight. Silva turns it up by dropping his hands and smiling. He shakes his head at Weidman and encourages him to engage. Weidman looks to be lost and in a state of trance like so many of Silva's opponents before him, and at the time it seemed like he was starting to lose hope. Weidman goes in for another takedown, but it looks weak and slow and Anderson easily pushes away. They horn sounds with them both face to face with Silva kissing Weidman on the cheek.
This is unusual for Silva at this point. Normally when Silva starts to play mind games he tends to finish the fight shortly after. He showed in this round that he was a class above Weidman in the striking department. He wanted that thought to cross Weidman's mind and I am sure it did. The kiss at the end of the round was rather unusual to see as this is something that happens when a fight is over. It's like the fighter dropping his guard with the understanding the fight is over. During the time whilst the fighters are getting ready for round two, Weidman would be disheartened and thinking he must do something different. He knew he couldn't let Silva stand there and keep playing those mind games. By contrast, in Anderson's corner he would have been thinking 'this is the round to finish this fight' and 'it's in the bag.'
This round starts how the last round ended, with Silva putting his hands low and urging Weidman to engage. At this point it looks as if Silva is firing himself up by taunting his opponent. Like we have seen so many times before, Silva gives some mental taunts before finishing, and the consensus at this point is the fight is going to end. At this point Weidman knows it too; he knows something has to be done, otherwise Silva is going to do what he has done for many years and win yet again. Silva puts his hands low and Weidman steps in with a punch and Silva eats it and pretends to be hurt. Silva's hands are now at his waist and Weidman pushes forward with a flurry of punches; however, Anderson uses good head movement to move out of the way of two of them. But the last shot connects to Silva's temple, and he drops and Weidman jumps all over him. Herb Dean stops the fight and the fight is won by the underdog Chris Weidman.
Weidman seems excited and happy as any champion would, but when he is doing his interview you can't help but notice the how much relief he is feeling knowing he took victory from the jaws of defeat. Then we move onto Silva's interview and this was unusual to watch; for once everyone was more interested in the loser's interview rather then the winner's. Anderson looked upset as he tried to offer no excuse for what happened. He said some interesting things as he was just humbled by defeat. You could feel the pain in his voice and I believe he felt that he lost the fight himself, and on this night Anderson Silva beat Anderson Silva. He handled it like an absolute champion though. The most controversial part of this was the feeling the fans got about how Anderson seemed liberated, at peace, and relieved to have finally let the belt go. This feeling could have been attributed towards the pain he felt from the loss.
Since the fight has taken place there has been a lot of speculation on the future and accusations thrown around and I would like to observe them. The first is the notion that the fight was fixed.
I personally do believe in conspiracy theories but this is one that I'd have to disagree with. Anderson Silva is the greatest of all time and he is a fighter by nature. Fixing, dropping, losing, these aren't words in his vocabulary, and to suggest otherwise disrespects him and undermines the sport that we have grown to love.
When Anderson Silva lost to Weidman it was like finding out that Santa Clause isn't real to many in the MMA community. People were quick to accuse Silva for being too "cocky" or for being "disrespectful"; to those people I say this: Anderson Silva has broke nearly every record in MMA history using techniques and methods he has picked up on the way. When he drops his hands and "clowns around" as people have said, this isn't personal. This is a technique, which has been used for many years in many sports. Everybody's heard the saying "It's 80% mental and 20% physical." There are no truer words in MMA. Silva simply deploys his way to win the mental fight that is happening and him dropping his hands and smiling and acting in a certain way is him trying to get the opponent to react in a way that would cause them to fall into his game.
Granted, on this occasion he may have got carried away as Weidman was smart and didn't dive into the game too much. Doing this doesn't just throw his opponents out of their mindset, it also helps to boost Silva's mindset and step up his pace. It's what they call "Being in the zone." In this case when Silva is shouting at his opponents banging his hands together asking his opponents to do something as well, this is affecting his opponents, this is giving Silva supreme confidence and boosting the pace of the fight. In my opinion I believe in the rematch Silva will win. Will he still be the showman and use his mind games? Most people don't seem to think so, but I think we will see those mind games because they are Anderson's bread and butter.
Have you got an opinion on this? Disagree or Agree with me? Send me your tweets fight fans! @Raz_UFC and use #MMATorch
That wraps it up for this week's edition of Fight of the week. Thank you and Good night
[Anderson Silva art by Cory Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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