Georges St-Pierre stated unequivocally that Chris Weidman would dethrone Anderson Silva at UFC 162. But while the welterweight champ's prediction may have come true, even he couldn't believe how it transpired.
"I predicted Chris Weidman was going to win, but I didn't think he was going to win the way that he won," St-Pierre told PokerListings.com midway through Sunday's World Series of Poker tournament. "I thought he was going to win on the ground, with ground and pound, or maybe some submission. But he won with a knockout, a beautiful knockout, standing up. I think Silva got caught. I think Silva is still the best in the world, but he just got caught. It happens to everyone."
It's no secret that St-Pierre speaks from experience. Back in 2007, the Canadian met a similar fate at the hands of Weidman's mentor, Matt Serra. Although the manner in which the two legendary champion's fell is strikingly dissimilar.
St-Pierre got caught with his hands up, while Silva blatantly invited Weidman to do as he pleased. Silva's antics aren't anything new; in fact they're among the reasons he's revered as one of the greatest fighters to ever live. But on Saturday night Silva's theatrics reached an implausible, exotic level, against an opponent who ultimately wouldn't stand for it.
The result became perhaps the most surreal finishing sequence in mixed martial arts history. Weidman swung and missed a looping right, switched his timing and flicked his right back out for a sort of backhanded jab, then capitalized on Silva's brief misstep and unloaded into the left hook that ended an era.
"The thing that Silva does, he's very good at getting into his opponent's mind," St-Pierre said. "I don't think it's much of a lack of respect. I think it's more that he tries to get into his opponent's mind and plays mind-games with his opponents. That almost worked. It almost worked that time, but he got caught. It doesn't mean that it was not a good strategy for him. Maybe he should not have [done it] that much, but he just got caught, you know?"
"You always recognize a great champion by how they come back from a loss, and I know Silva came back from a loss before, and from adversity in his fight. He's the greatest of all time, for sure."
Silva's status as an all-time legend was cemented long ago, but to see the culmination of a 2,458-day reign at the top disintegrate not with a bang, but a whimper, was nothing if not unnerving. Silva played with his food too long, threw his hands to his hips and goaded world class athletes to do something about it one too many times, that perhaps this is the only way it could've ended. It's bizarrely fitting, if nothing else.
Who knows where we go from here? Silva wants to take some time off, but no fight in recent memory has felt so incomplete. Maybe that's why a rematch seems inevitable. On Saturday a 29-year-old wrestler from Long Island did what no one else has done before, not just demanding respect from Silva, but seizing it. Yet many within the community still doubt Weidman's claim to the throne, and really, it's hard to blame them. What we saw was dreamlike; a moment so absurd, it was all too easy to disbelieve.
But that moment was very real. Silva is 38 years old, an old man in a young man's game. He could hang up his gloves right now and no one would think lesser of him. Yet athletes who reach the pinnacle of their profession do not do so without a competiveness that borders on sickness, and that sickness does not die easily.
"I'm happy for Chris Weidman," St-Pierre said in closing. "He's my friend. His house got flooded, he has a family and a kid. It could not have happened to a better guy. I'm very happy for him. He's going to make some money, too. He needs that stuff, he's a high caliber athlete and he deserves it.
"Depending if Anderson Silva takes a rematch, I believe (Weidman) can win a rematch again."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Weidman stuns Silva, White targets rematch. You already know what happened. Years of in-cage antics finally caught up to Anderson Silva in the form of a thunderous second-round left hook from Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162, leaving the MMA community stunned and shell-shocked. (Video.) Afterward Silva rejected the idea of a rematch, although both Weidman and UFC President Dana White were in favor of the idea, with the latter targeting a February 1, 2014 date at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. on Super Bowl weekend.
Belfort, Bisping call for title shots. No surprise here. Immediately following Weidman's victory, middleweight contenders Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping took to Twitter and requested title shots against the new champion.
Edgar, Munoz right their ships. Frankie Edgar and Mark Munoz rebounded from recent losses by picking up electric decision victories over Charles Oliveira and Tim Boetsch, respectively. Edgar pocketed $50,000 in bonus cash for his 'Fight of the NIght' performance (video), while Munoz declared himself to be "back" after overcoming depression and dominating Boetsch. (Video.)
Diaz wants back in. The strange saga of Nick Diaz lives on. I'll allow Dana White to explain: "He texted me that he broke up with his girlfriend and he wants to fight."
Swanson stakes claim. Cub Swanson stretched his blistering win streak to five straight, knocking out Dennis Siver in the third round of the pair's UFC 162 bout. (Video.) Afterward Swanson appealed to the fans for a No. 1 contender bout then issued a direct challenge to Ricardo Lamas.
The notion that this fight was fixed is patently absurd. It wasn't. Accept it. That being said, this is a bizarre interview in retrospect. Skip to the 5:00 mark, when Joe Ferraro asks Silva what he'd consider to be a 'perfect fight' against Chris Weidman.
"With Anderson, what I saw was a guy who was playin', because for so long now he's been wanting to box me. I don't even think the fight with this kid, Widman, was even on his mind." -- Roy Jones Jr., with no idea how to pronounce the new UFC middleweight champ's name.
Even after the fact, this Taiwanese UFC 162 spot is gold.
Props to Jamie Cheng for the find.
Switching gears entirely, over the weekend Alexander Emelianenko fought some Brazilian guy on a five-fight losing streak. You can probably guess how this turns out.
Okay guys, this Rin Nakai stuff is getting ridiculous.
Let's end on something light: Comedian Ari Shaffir ate a pot cookie and went to a UFC event. From there things got a bit weird.
Words can't describe how I'm feeling right now!!! Beyond happy proud & excited for the new champ @ChrisWeidmanUFC !!!!— Matt Serra (@MattSerraUFC) July 7, 2013
Big olé congrats for Weidman, way to show how to put cockiness to sleep. Always supporting the wrestlers! USA baby!!— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) July 7, 2013
Never been at such a loss for words after a fight. Too many thoughts to even express. Just wow I guess. #UFC162— Mike Quick Swick (@officialswick) July 7, 2013
Silva deserves to loss so cocky and disrespectful— Hector Lombard (@HectorLombard) July 7, 2013
Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) July 7, 2013
Now there's one reason to respect other fighters— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) July 7, 2013
Silva still has a great legacy in MMA. That style worked for him so many times in the past. I don’t think Anderson will fight again— Tom Kong Watson (@TomKongWatson) July 7, 2013
Still the greatest, but he's human like everyone else. Sad to see it happening that way though.— Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) July 7, 2013
HOW IT FEELS TO LOSE A TON OF MONEY
Crazy— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 7, 2013
this sucks.— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 7, 2013
@ChrisWeidmanUFC Congratulations, you are the new champion. Next challenger is me! Lets do it— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) July 7, 2013
Hey @ChrisWeidmanUFC so your the champ. Defend it, fight me!— michael (@bisping) July 7, 2013
@ChrisWeidmanUFC let's do it, Manchester,well done champ.— michael (@bisping) July 7, 2013
The showboating finally caught up to him.— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) July 7, 2013
@ChrisWeidmanUFC the Champ congrats buddy! AMAZING— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) July 7, 2013
HARD TO BLAME HIM
Video of Chris Weidman calling Anderson Silva "that disrespectful piece of shit" in the cage after the figh...https://t.co/3nDQqwFMr3— Luca Fury (@GamblingFury) July 7, 2013
Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) July 7, 2013
Thank you for all messages guys!! You all make all of this very special!! Thank GOD!!— Edson Barboza (@EdsonBarbozaJR) July 7, 2013
Overwhelmed by all of your comments and support! Thank each and every one of you! thank God for all I have been blessed with! Enjoy the ride— BrianMelancon (@Brian_Melancon) July 7, 2013
Well didn't get the comeback story, but i promise you there will be no relapse story. Gonna stay strong & continue on the path— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) July 7, 2013
My life is like a box of chocolate, except some of the pieces are filled with $h*t. LOL. Really, really wanted the W— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) July 7, 2013
David Mitchell (@dmitchellmma) July 7, 2013
Guys, thanks for the messages and for the support. What won't kill us will make us stronger.— Roger Gracie (@rogergracie) July 7, 2013
God is good! Thanks to everyone that believed in me!! Belts coming back to longisland baby!!— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) July 7, 2013
I prepared myself but unfortunately I didn't make it.I want to thank all fans who always supported me Thank you pic.twitter.com/BUkoQu1m5n— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) July 7, 2013
DANA DUN CAUGHT YA, BIEBS
PPV Justin RT @justinbieber: Who has a video of the ufc fight tonight? Send it to me— Dana White (@danawhite) July 7, 2013
OH, AND THIS
Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) July 7, 2013
Announced over the weekend (Friday, July 5, 2013 - Sunday, July 7, 2013):
- UFC 165: Jon Jones (18-1) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) confirmed for main event
- UFC 166: Cain Velasquez (12-1) vs. Junior dos Santos (16-2) confirmed for main event
- UFC 166: Gilbert Melendez (21-3) vs. Diego Sanchez (24-5)
- UFC 167: Georges St-Pierre (24-2) vs. Johny Hendricks (15-1) confirmed for main event
- UFC 168: Ronda Rousey (7-0) vs. Miesha Tate (13-4) confirmed for main event
- UFC Fight for the Troops 3 targeted for November 6, 2013
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Sterling Archer lay it all out there: The night my childhood ended
Childhood over. As a man in his 30's perhaps this comes to me later in life than most, nevertheless, I couldn't be more sincere with what I say. Last night the embers of my childhood burned out and ashes were swept away by the winds of inevitability. Anderson Silva has fallen, is mortal.
I was a comic book fan as a child. My whimsical youth identified with certain aspects of the superhero mythos, specifically their everyday alter egos. I have always been undersized when compared to my peers, long and lanky, so the nerdy body I was given knew all about what it was like to be Peter Parker, and dreamed about being Spiderman. I took to many characters for varying reasons, The Hulk, for example, because of his ability to physically dominate out of frustration. Afterall, who of us hasn't a had moment or two in life where they would have savored the ability to succumb to their rage in ways the mind can only imagine? The ability to fly, control thoughts, teleport, all these things danced through my mind in wonderful ways as a child, they filled my head with wonder every night as I laid in bed. But such a world couldn't last.
I got older, and much like Santa Clause, I discovered that these characters, these heros, they weren't real. It was not an easy revelation for me particularly, I had so many emotions invested in them. I just couldn't believe believe Batman wasn't out there protecting us from The Joker... never mind that Gotham didn't even exist. All these conclusions lead to the most sobering of all. Not only were superheroes not real, but they couldn't be.
Born from these childhood realizations was my adult fandom of Anderson Silva. The way he moved, the way he toyed, he seemed capable of things not grounded in reality. My eyes grew wide when he elbowed Fryklund into oblivion with one upward swipe, my affinity set in stone once he dismantled Franklin. His striking prowess whet my appetite the older he got, defying father time. I was bewildered by his backward jab embarrassment of Griffin and yet again blown away by the front kick KO against Belfort. I took his showboating in stride, the man lived on the fringe of what was possible, so be it if he wanted to remind us just how far above mere mortals he was. Last night I fully expected the same. Silva dancing around his prey and displaying the full arsenal of his 'superhuman' abilities, pageantry not to be spared. And then, the unthinkable. Silva's mockery lead him directly into a left hook. Off balance, out of position, and turning his head directly into the punch. The fool in me actually allowed my feeble brain to believe that while Silva was falling, he was still acting. Ever the showman he was pretending to be hurt, to be mortal. The thought was fleeting, my mighty hero had fallen. Every follow up punch, another nail in the coffin. The last glimmer of my childhood extinguished. Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer came to mind, a poem I haven't thought of in close to two decades.
I kept all my old comics, hundreds of them. Heroes long forgotten that only a miniscule part of me can identify with. They weren't in the best condition due to my being an uncle at age twelve. I loved showing that world to my nephew, but he didn't take the best care of them once immersed. I came across them about a year ago, I've never been much for nostalgia but finding those in an old storage box was a good day. I flipped through a few, smirks turning to smiles as I revisited and I thought to myself... why keep these hidden from view? Why not do something drastic? I pulled the staples out them and began lining them up on my bedroom wall. Three days later I was painting a clear coat over what was now floor to ceiling comic book wallpaper. Today, waking from the night the last of my heroes had fallen, the walls seemed foolish. Childish. Immature and unnecessary. How long could a grown man possibly have comic book wallpaper in his house? When is it time to take it down? Is today that day?
No, it's not.
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