Last week I did numerous radio hits on ESPN affiliates across the country. Every host asked the same question about Chris Weidman:
Is he a legit threat to Anderson Silva?
"Appears to be," was my basic response. I'd rattle off details about his grappling attack, compare it to Chael Sonnen's work, and build a case for the unbeaten 29-year-old Long Islander. This never ended with him snapping off a left hook to become the champion. However, I made a point to say, he very well could be the truth at 185.
We now know much more about Weidman than was apparent last week. People can attempt to pin the stunning result on Silva's decision-making, but Weidman proved capable of moving with a fighter who loved emulating Michael Jackson. Actually, he moved better than Silva because he kept his base underneath him, which allowed him to coil and release a beautiful lead left hook to the jaw. Punches earlier in the sequence put Silva's face where it needed to be, and Weidman was locked in.
As Silva teetered on his proverbial tightrope, the hook was the last of a multipunch sequence that forced Silva farther toward to the ledge. He had nowhere to go because he was fighting for balance, as if riding a surfboard. So he leaned and leaned some more, making slight movements with his head as it happened. Weidman refused to kowtow. That was it.
A new middleweight champion scored the headlines, but a host of other fighters earned spotlight opportunities at UFC 162 as well. This is how they fared.