As he picked off no. 1 contenders one by one, and others fell by the way side, Anderson Silva found himself with only one fighter remaining at the top of the middleweight division that had a clear claim to a shot at his belt. That man was Chris Weidman. Weidman stated over and over in the build up to the fight that he felt it was his destiny to become the next middleweight champion. Many scoffed at the idea, others cautiously bought into the talk and his sense of self confidence, given Weidman's unique blend of skills and physicality.
The first round opened with a quick and decisive takedown from Weidman followed by some solid ground and pound. It was a line of attack that many saw as his most direct towards a potential upset victory, but one which he lost with an ill advised ankle lock attempt. Silva was able to roll out, regain his feet, and from there he looked to toy with Weidman.
It's hard to say if Anderson was looking to draw Weidman into making a glaring mistake that he could exploit, or whether he was just looking to humiliate him long term for forcing him into a fight he didn't particularly care about. Either way it was his devotion to mockery and over emphasized showboating that spelled the quick and brutal end. Weidman looked to chase a flat footed Silva with a series of hooks, and rather than dance away Anderson attempted to limbo out of danger. A brutal left connected and sent him crashing to the canvas unconscious, an era ended in a flash. Chris Weidman def. Anderson Silva via KO (punch) Round 2.
What was the high point?
The knockout, and really everything Weidman did. He was determined and powerful in his execution and became the first fighter to really not let Silva off the hook for trying to make a mockery of them.
What was the low point?
The knockout, and I'm not going to say everything Anderson did, but certainly everything he did in the second round. I don't think it will be a real long term stain on his legacy, any exciting win will pretty much erase the memory of it for his fans. What it really did was diminish the win for Weidman, who will never really get credit for defeating a champion who beat himself.
Where do they go from here?
Weidman is now the fastest gun in the west and gets all the ups and downs that come with it. Soon every punk packing a pistol will come calling for a shot at his belt so every effort he's put in at this point will pretty much need doubling. Mark Munoz already called him out at the post fight presser, but Dana seems set on the idea that Silva will be fighting him in a rematch. If Silva doesn't, then Vitor Belfort is the logical next step.
For Anderson, it was common knowledge that his new contract came with an instant rematch clause, but he doesn't seem very interested in taking it up. He still might, but if not a fight with Roy Jones Jr. has reared its ugly head and would be something of a spectacle.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now. It's history being made, and that doesn't happen that often. No matter what your thoughts on Anderson, Weidman, or the fight in general, this is a moment that needs to be seen and remembered, because in the long run it may not be.