While Chris Weidman’s stunning win over Anderson Silva was still something impressive to behold, there’s always going to be that large contingent of people who say Anderson only got caught because he was dicking around and this loss is almost deserving of an asterisk. The standard line of thinking:
Weidman has unfortunately been robbed of some of the glory that he deserves by the many fans and journalists who are claiming this to be more a case of Silva losing the fight for himself rather than Weidman taking the title from him.
Of course, one of the first things Chris was asked at the press conference was whether he felt the way he won took away from the whole experience. His response:
“Anderson Silva has won his fights because of what he did and what I caught him on. He’s not letting his defense down – it looks like he is but he knows exactly what he’s doing. And I capitalized on it when a lot of other guys couldn’t do that. So I’m not trying to take that away from myself.”
A good answer, and one I’m sure Weidman will have to give for the next forever. In this way he can commiserate with coach Matt Serra, who also beat one of the best in the world but will always have that moment downplayed as a lucky fluke.
But at least Weidman has some legitimate reasoning to stand on. As much as I fucking hated Silva’s showboating in the Demian Maia, Patrick Cote, and Thales Leites fights, it was the same kinda shit Anderson was doing when he Matrix’d Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar. You can’t ignore the times it worked as effectively as a Jedi mind trick just because it didn’t work this time.
On the other side though, a lot of people (myself included) would argue that Anderson is at his worst when he’s playing around. A little bit of head movement is one thing – hiding behind the ref like he did with Demian Maia and gesticulating madly like Hulk Hogan for all of round two with Weidman is another. The focused, aggressive Anderson Silva who annihilated opponents is and always will be the peak Anderson we all try to focus on (even though he only shows up half the time), which is why Weidman is never gonna hear the end of “You didn’t win, Silva lost.”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor