I don’t know where UFC 162 ranks on the best cards ever rankings, but I do know that it was, to use a phrase uttered during the broadcast, beautiful destruction. And it was definitely the best card of fights we’ve seen this year.
Anderson Silva’s reign as the UFC’s unstoppable champ came to a crashing end. It is hard to believe how long he remained the champ. Almost seven years. I’ve had two children and a host of other huge life changes in that span, and I couldn’t even maintain my weight. Meanwhile, Silva became an international star and maintained virtuoso performances against the UFC’s very best, including former champs Vitor Belfort, Forrest Griffith, Dan Henderson, and Rich Franklin, twice. And he lived up to the hype and pressure time and time again.
He is the best MMA fighter we’ve ever seen. And yes, Jones, Aldo, and all the others are a distant second.
How his reign ended was appropriate, I thought. He was dancing and taunting and toying with his prey right up to the point that Weidman hit him with a two-piece chicken dinner.
Weidman deserves the praise heaped on him last night. The guy won round one after an early takedown and dished out some nice shots on top of Silva. And when Joe Rogan basically called Weidman foolish for standing with Silva, he showed why he decided to stand and trade. He knew Silva would do something equally as foolish, like lowering his hands and dancing around.
And let’s not forgot that up to point that Silva got knocked out, Weidman was winning the fight. Weidman is great fighter and he is now the champ at middleweight. That just sounds weird doesn’t it?
That said, I could see Silva finishing Weidman in the next fight.
And that said, I could see Weidman winning against Silva in the next fight.
A good rematch do these scenarios make.
The undercard also provided some amazing fights, minus the Roger Gracie fight. When will the UFC realize that just the Gracie name alone is not worthy of placing on the main card? This is not a sport of family dynasties; it is a sport of individual fighters. C’mon Dana, don’t give us another Gracie on a main card unless the guy is worthy of it.
Cub Swanson looked impressive in dismantling Dennis Siver in the third round. I hope the UFC gives this kid a title shot. Swanson versus Aldo would be a fun fight. And Mark Munoz gritted out an impressive decision, possibly breaking his hand on Tim Boetsch’s ribs. I bet, at this very moment, Boetsch is wearing ice bags as accessories and eating vicodins as if its trail mix.
And then there was Frankie Edgar. He is that rare combination of fighter with slightly above average skills and way above average heart. He fought not like a champion, but like a guy who had not won in sometime, which was exactly the position Edgar found himself in.
When I texted one of my friends “great fight” during Edgar’s performance, he texted back and said, “if this was GSP, you would be complaining, what’s the difference.”
My response is how dare he compare Edgar to GSP. Edgar is the underdog in almost every fight he has had in the past three years. Heck, he looked like the underdog last night, even though he was fighting in a division lower from when he was champ. In fact, Dana White made a comment at the post-fight presser that people were texting him to tell Edgar to move down to 135 pounds.
In other words, Edgar starts every fight from a physical disadvantage.
Edgar also doesn’t possess the explosiveness or skill of GSP, and yet, he tries to finish fights. No one could watch last night’s third round and come away thinking that Edgar was satisfied with a decision. The guy was trying to finish. The same cannot be said for GSP.
If Jon Jones never finished people would everyone think he could be the greatest?
GSP has the ability to finish, but not the heart, which is why I will always consider him a great champ, but not a great fighter. I think Silva, Jones, Aldo, and Velasquez are all above him in the pound-for-pound discussion.
But I digress. Edgar is an absolute joy to watch, and his performance last night puts him right back where he belongs: hunting for another title.
Which, ironically, is the same place Anderson Silva finds himself in this morning. Again, that sounds strange for those of us who have watched the UFC for the past decade. The one constant during the glory era of the UFC was Silva.
What happens when the Greatest of All Time loses big in Vegas? I don’t know because this is a UFC first. But I do know that I’m anxious to find out.