Ever since his complete domination of Mark Munoz at “UFC on Fuel TV 4,” Chris Weidman has been determined to get a shot at Anderson Silva.
However, Silva hasn’t showed any interest in a potential fight against Weidman, and MMA’s pound-for-pound king seems more interested in fighting highly recognizable opponents like Georges St. Pierre, or perhaps even former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Cung Le.
While it might seem like Anderson doesn’t respect Weidman’s abilities as a fighter; that really isn’t the case. The main issue Silva’s camp has with the bout is the fact Weidman doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of marketability.
It’s hard to blame them for their stance, considering the fact Weidman could walk around in a packed grocery store anywhere in the U.S. without getting recognized by a single person.
Weidman is getting tired of lobbying for a fight against “The Spider,” and he flat out accused Silva of ducking during an interview with MMAJunkie.com.
“It seems like he’s avoiding it at all costs at this point,” Weidman said. “I’m a big, strong, young, athletic wrestler with good submissions. I think it’s a bad matchup for him, I think he knows that, and he’s making millions of dollars outside the cage being the undefeated UFC champion — untouchable. And if Chris Weidman, who a lot of people don’t know, goes in there and takes that away from him, it’s not good for him.”
Weidman certainly took a giant step towards a title shot with his second-round TKO victory against Munoz in 2012, but he really isn’t in a position to accuse Silva of ducking. If the UFC’s middleweight title picture wasn’t a complete mess right now, he wouldn’t even be in the conversation.
As far as I’m concerned, the obvious matchups for Silva right now are: a super-fight against Georges St. Pierre, a title defense against Rashad Evans (if he decides to drop down to the middleweight division), a champion vs. champion fight against Luke Rockhold (the last Strikeforce middleweight champion).
Even a Silva vs. Cung Le bout makes a lot more sense than giving Weidman shot.
Truth be told, Weidman’s skill set could pose problems for Silva, considering how easily “The All-American” outwrestled Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4. Furthermore, Silva — who supposedly fought with a rib injury — had a hard time staying on his feet against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, prompting some to question his takedown defense.
However, it’s worth noting that Silva’s takedown defense looked a lot better during his UFC 148 rematch against Sonnen, as he stuffed three of the Portland native’s four takedown attempts, before finishing him off with a nasty knee to the solar plexus.
While there’s a remote possibility that Weidman might be the man who dethrones “The Spider,” he’ll have to earn a shot at the title like other fighters have. He doesn’t have the gift of gab like Sonnen does (which might have shortened his road to the title), so he’ll have to defeat at least one more top contender before sophisticated MMA fans start taking him seriously.
Casual MMA fans might have been mesmerized by his performance against Munoz, but hardcore fans still remember the awful showing he had against Demian Maia — who was no longer considered a top middleweight at the time — at “UFC on Fox 2.”
A single win against a top middleweight in the UFC, isn’t close to being enough to elevate him to the number one contender spot. Heck, even Sonnen had to rack up a few wins against top contenders before he got his first shot at Silva.