Not even 24 hours have passed since the conclusion of UFC 168, and already the Debbie Downers of the MMA world have come out in force to tell us how every sucks.
"Weidman will never be another Anderson Silva."
"Casuals will just think this was another fluke."
"This was the worst thing that could have happened for the UFC."
Talk about looking on the dim side of life. First of all, if you don't like Chris Weidman, I don't know what you want out of MMA. He isn't just another "new breed" clone. He's a giant, powerhouse wrestler and BJJ prodigy. His striking has to be considered among the best in the division, if not one of the best in the sport. His ground striking is terrifying and his desire to finish his opponents is bordering on comical. Twice he stepped into the cage and made beating Anderson look easy, when a year ago, people thought Jon Jones was the only fighter who had a chance. He is all you could ask for if you were looking for a fighter that Anderson could pass the torch to.
I understand that people are upset with the fact that Anderson lost. However, if your only reason for watching the sport was to see martial arts movies brought to life, your time might be over. If seeing Anderson lose makes you want to stop watching MMA, then maybe you should listen to that. I see a lot of people decrying this moment as the "Death of MMA" when I think it's shaping up to be a rejuvenation. The old guard is going away, and it's time for the new blood to take center stage.
For those of you who wish to label this a disaster for the UFC, I think you are completely off the mark. Sure, Anderson snapping his leg might not have been the ending we hoped for, but it's hardly bad for the UFC. This is the biggest thing to happen in MMA during 2013 and I highly doubt that any other outcome would be able to generate the sort of publicity for the UFC that this will. Despite what many think, this is something the UFC can use to sell Chris Weidman. Before the anti-climactic ending, Chris was handedly beating Anderson. If nothing else, they can sell Weidman as an unbreakable force of nature, so tough and insurmountable that the GOAT broke himself in the process of trying to beat Chris.
In terms of his media persona, Chris is doing everything right. He's professional and respectful to his opponents without mincing words. I understand that a lot of people want more personality from their fighters(I'm part of that camp) but the general public doesn't have a problem with athletes being like GSP. Being young, American, good looking and fairly charismatic, I don't see what stands in the way of Chris' future success.
Was it sad that the fight ended the way it did? Of course, but was the outcome itself bad for the UFC or MMA? I don't think so. In some ways, Anderson's legacy is left preserved. I didn't think he looked "old" and we weren't forced to see him being brutally finished by Weidman. He went out in the kind of bizarre fashion befitting such a mercurial enigma. We were also witness to Chris Weidman fully claiming his throne as the undeniable middleweight champion. In the future we get to look forward to seeing a murder's row of contenders attempt to wrest the gold from his hands. That is the real beauty of what happened last night. I hope you will all be there to enjoy it with me.