5 Jul 2013 10:00:39 AM
(Double chin-smush. So intense. / Video via YouTube.com/UFC)
Are Chris Weidman‘s chances for an upset as good as everybody seems to think they are? Is Tim Kennedy better at talking than he is at fighting? Does UFC 162 feature the most stacked Facebook prelims in the history of curtain-jerking? And Dave Herman‘s getting fired, right? Read on as CagePotato founding editor Ben Goldstein and staff writer Jared Jones debate these topics — and so much more — and be sure to come back tomorrow night for our “Silva vs. Weidman” liveblog, beginning with the FX prelims at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
Chris Weidman has become the fashionable pick for an upset against Anderson Silva. You don’t actually believe he’ll pull it off, do you? I mean, you’re not a moron, right?
JJ: Now, I may be a moron, but there is one thing I am not, sir, and that, sir, is a moron.
If we were to have this debate immediately after Weidman had finished knocking Mark Munoz into an ice cream cake-induced depression, I would have told you that Anderson Silva was a dead man walking. “Weidman brings the kind of grappling prowess that, like Chael P. Sonnen before him, will all but completely suffocate Andy’s offense,” I would say whilst smoking a corncob pipe and farting into a wine glass, “And his striking, while clearly not on Silva’s level, has improved enough to keep the soon-to-be former champ hesitant in those rare moments when he won’t be fighting off his back.” I would have mocked you for daring to claim otherwise, then had security escort you out of my chalet bungalow when you inevitably lost your cool like a common miscreant.
And honestly, not a lot has changed since Weidman punched (and punched and punched) his way to #1 contender status almost a year ago to the day. That’s the problem. Weidman has been recovering from shoulder surgery and Silva has been retiring roided-up LHW’s in between increasingly shitty movie appearances. Am I crazy enough to pick a Chris Weidman coming off a year layoff to upset ANDERSON FREAKING SILVA? What do I look like, a moron?
BG: I feel like this wave of Weidman-support isn’t so much based on realistic analysis of the matchup, so much as fans’ natural desire to see some change after seven years of having the same champion dominating the competition, and other UFC fighters’ totally understandable self-interest in having that dominant champion go away for a while. It’s wishful thinking, basically.
Instead of discussing what Chris Weidman could theoretically do to Silva, you only need to consider Silva’s body of work in the UFC to understand that this fight probably won’t go the challenger’s way. And that’s fine. Weidman is still a young athlete who only started competing as a professional mixed martial artist in 2009. Experience counts in this sport, and Weidman just doesn’t have it. Whatever work he’s been doing in the gym, it won’t prepare him for that moment when he realizes — perhaps too late — just how talented and fearless Anderson Silva really is. I will now link you to the greatest GIF in MMA history.
The good news is, Weidman has a long career still ahead of him. Three years from now, Anderson Silva might be retired, and Chris Weidman will still be beating up top contenders. He’ll have his moment. Saturday night will not be that moment.
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