This post is courtesy of guest blogger Ashley English.
Tune into UFC 162 on July 6, 2013 to witness history in the making. Fans will either see Anderson Silva lose for the first time since January 20, 2006 (on that night, Yushin Okami defeated Anderson Silva via disqualification from an illegal up kick) or Chris Weidman, who is entering the Octagon with a perfect 9-0 record, receive the first loss of his professional career? Anderson’s last true loss came at the hands of Ryo Chonan via a flying scissor heal hook, in December of 2004. Anderson Silva sill brings to the cage the fact that he is the UFC’s longest reigning champion. He also currently holds the honor of being the owner of the UFC’s longest winning streak (16 wins) and most title defenses (10). Anderson Silva is currently ranked by both UFC Rankings and Sherdog.com ranking as the #1 Middleweight in the world. He is also widely regarded by many experts and fans as the #1 pound for pound fighter on the planet. Dana White has called Anderson Silva “the greatest mixed martial artist ever” (:53).
Chris Weidman is currently ranked as the #2 Middleweight in the world by Sherdog.com rankings and is ranked as the #1 Middleweight contender by the UFC official ranking system. Chris Weidman made his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut in February of 2009. Prior to beginning his career in MMA, Chris was a two time NCAA All American for Hofstra University. Chris with only 3 months of formal jiu jitsu training entered a Grapplers Quest event and won his weight class and the absolute division, reeling off 13 straight submission victories. Only one year into his formal jiu jitsu training, Chris Weidman qualified for and competed at the 2009 ADCC. If you are not familiar with the ADCC, it is the Olympics of submission grappling. He lost to Andre Galvao, who happens to be a multiple time World Champion.
If you look at this fight on paper, it would appear the Anderson Silva is an overwhelming favorite. At first glance it would appear the Anderson Silva is undoubtedly going to push his winning streak to 17 consecutive wins and 11 straight title defenses. Fans should however consider that Anderson Silva is almost 38 years of age. His opponent, Chris Weidman, is a decade younger. How long can Anderson Silva stay ahead of Father Time? Granted, Randy Couture and Bernard Hopkins where both able to do so, will Anderson Silva be able to do the same? Or will he go the way of Chuck Liddell and have a rapid decline? Anderson Silva has an innate ability to find a way to win in the Octagon. He is very elusive and has deceptive power, with the ability to put guys to sleep while moving backwards. Chael Sonnen laid out the blueprint to beat Anderson Silva, in their first fight. If it wasn’t for a late last ditch desperation triangle, Sonnen would have derailed Anderson Silva and left the cage as the Middleweight UFC Champion.
Chris Weidman is a high level wrestler with a very strong wrestling pedigree, very near the same level of Chael Sonnen. He holds wrestling victories over UFC fighter Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. Wrestling has long been a chink in the Armor of Anderson Silva’s game. Silva has improved this aspect of his game but if Weidman can get this fight to the ground Silva is in for a long night. Weidman has very heavy hands and can hurt Silva with his ground and pound. I don’t see Anderson Silva being knocked out by Chris Weidman but he may be in danger if Chris Weidman is able to utilize and follow Chael Sonnen’s blueprint.
If Silva keeps this fight on the feet, Chris Weidman is in trouble. If Weidman is able to use his athletic ability and wrestling skill to take this fight to the ground, Silva will be in danger of seeing his winning streak come to an end. This one could go either way, but I make a bold prediction that Chris Weidman will shock the world and upset Anderson Silva. I believe that Chael Sonnen laid out the perfect game plan to beat him. Weidman is a younger more well-rounded version of Sonnen and has good enough ground skills not to be caught by a Silva triangle. Chris Weidman grinds out a 5 round decision by taking Anderson Silva down and grinding him out. Either way history will be made at the end of the night, during the main event of UFC 162. Will you be there when it does?
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