After 2,458 days, the UFC has a new middleweight champion.
Chris Weidman ended the long, illustrious reign of Anderson Silva at UFC 162. In a stunning ending, Weidman knocked out Silva with a left hook followed by ground and pound at 1:18 of the second round.
"Chris Weidman is the best, he's the new champion," Silva said afterward. "He's the best."
The end came on a sequence the likes of which we've seen so many times. Silva appeared to be toying with Weidman, making him miss with strikes. At one point, Weidman threw a left and missed and Silva pretended as if it landed and that it hurt him. But Weidman kept coming forward, threw a backhand right and then another short left hook.
The latter punch landed on the button and sent Silva crashing backwards. Weidman didn't hesitate, jumping on the fallen champion and landing three solid strikes to the head. Silva had his left hand up but it was clear he didn't have his wits about him, and referee Herb Dean stepped in to save him, calling an end to his long time at the top.
"I was ready for it," Weidman said afterward. "It pisses me off when someone does it to me and while he's sleeping I'm going to creep up on him."
Weidman also had a good first round, taking Silva down quickly and landing several hard strikes. Showing that he had no fear of taking risks, he eventually went low for a leg lock, which allowed Silva to escape, but it set the tone early that he was going for it.
"I felt I was destined for this," Weidman (10-0) said. "I still felt it was a little far-fetched but I imagined it a billion times."
Weidman said he would be happy to offer Silva a rematch, but surprisingly, Silva (33-5) declined the offer in the cage, telling Joe Rogan he would continue competing but was done with title matches.
With the loss, Silva's long UFC win streak ended at 16, and his title defense streak ended at 10. Both are UFC records.
"I [dont'] fight more for the belt," he said. "My legacy for the belt is finished tonight."