6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) / 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb) / Middleweight
The fighter that ended the Anderson Silva reign, Chris Weidman shocked the world when he knocked out a prime Anderson Silva at UFC 162. Many thought that Silva was invincible at that time, and would not lose any time soon. Chris Weidman’s title run was great while it lasted.
Chris Weidman started with wrestling as his base for MMA, he was a D1 Wrestler which means he was an elite wrestler. He trained under Ray Longo and former UFC welterweight champion, Matt Serra. Although, Weidman also had great striking as well but it was due to his high-level wrestling that leads his opponents to think twice.
In 2011, Weidman entered the UFC with an undefeated record of 4-0, he faced Alessio Sakara and won via unanimous decision. It was a great showcase for Weidman’s well-rounded skill, he landed great shots and took his opponent down as well.
He then went on to win his next 4 fights before getting a title shot. Not only that but Weidman beat top contenders like Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor, and even Mark Munoz. What made Weidman hard to beat was his wrestling and great boxing. He could either take his opponents down or knock them out.
Weidman vs Silva
Even though Silva was reigning the division for so long, he was not really a heavy favorite against Chris Weidman. Usually, Silva goes in as the huge favorite among other opponents but many thought that Weidman could pull off a victory with the use of his wrestling. Weidman was a young undefeated fighter and his style could pose a threat against Silva.
In just the first minute of the fight, Weidman successfully took Silva down but eventually got up. Silva was showboating most of the fight, and being overconfident may have led to his downfall. In the second round, Silva does his usual hands-down defense, and Weidman managed to land a punch that knocked Silva out. It was a huge upset for Silva to get knocked out cold.
The UFC then booked an immediate rematch since Silva deserved it based on the numerous title defenses he had. Many also thought that the fight was a fluke since Silva tried to play too much in the fight.
Weidman’s first title defense was against Anderson Silva and the outcome was pretty much the same. Weidman took Silva down early and had moments in the striking. This time, Silva had his hands up but an unfortunate accident happened as Silva broke his leg due to a checked leg kick.
Weidman’s title reign
Chris Weidman winning the two fights left no doubt that he is the king of the division. For his next defense, he faced Silva’s teammate and former LHW champion, Lyoto Machida. Weidman won the fight dominantly even went close to finishing the fight, his wrestling was just levels above Machida.
His next fight was against Vitor Belfort where he faced adversity in the early parts but once he took Belfort down. It was the end for Belfort as he could not defend the punches that Weidman threw.
The downfall started when Weidman faced Luke Rockhold. The fight was pretty much even but Rockhold somehow had better strikes, but the fight was far from over. Weidman then tried to execute a spinning kick that led to a big mistake. Rockhold was once knocked out with a spinning kick against Belfort, it may be the reason Weidman tried to throw as well but Rockhold saw it and took his back.
Weidman suffered a barrage of punches and many thought that the fight was ended a little too late. Some think that it may have removed the prime of Weidman as he suffered multiple losses after.
He was scheduled for a rematch but withdrew due to an injury. He faced Yoel Romero where he got knocked out by a flying knee as he went for a takedown. He then suffered another loss against Gegard Mousasi due to a controversial finish where he taught that the knee strike was illegal.
Weidman was then booked against a rising Kelvin Gastelum, where he suffered major adversity in the early parts but somehow came back and secured an arm-triangle choke. He then said that he is BACK from the losing slump.
He was then set to the co-main event in his hometown, New York against Ronaldo Souza where he was winning most of the fight until he got caught with a counter shot.
After losing 5 of his last 6 fights, Weidman decided to move up at light-heavyweight and try his shot but he faced then-undefeated Dominick Reyes. Weidman tried to take Reyes down early but failed to control him. As they stood back up, Reyes landed a counter shot that knocked Weidman down and Reyes went for the finish.
Weidman went back down and faced Omari Akhmedov and won via unanimous decision. His latest fight was a rematch against Uriah Hall, he suffered a similar leg injury as he threw a strong leg kick in just 17 seconds of the fight.
Fortunately, Weidman is close to recovering fully from his injury but no announcement yet whether he will hang it up or keep on fighting. Weidman has had a great legacy and no shame in retiring from the sport.