Weidman the clear underdog in rematch with Silva

It didn’t take long for Anderson Silva to change his mind about his fighting future.

Just moments after being knocked out by Chris Weidman in the main event of UF 162, the long-time middleweight champion said he no longer wanted to fight for the title, and a rematch with Weidman wouldn’t be happening.

A week later, the rematch has already been booked.

Weidman will make his first title defense against Silva as the main event of UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas.

The champion, Weidman, is the clear underdog in the rematch, as many feel Silva can beat Weidman as long as he doesn’t clown around.

It is not often that a champion comes into a fight, especially a rematch against an opponent he already beat, as the clear underdog.

Only a few come to mind when it comes to title fights.

Matt Serra vs. Georges St. Pierre at UFC 83: Serra shocked the world by winning the UFC Middlweight Championship, beating GSP at UFC 69, but most looked at the win as a fluke. Serra did little to fight off those opinions in the rematch, as St. Pierre dominated the bout and finished him off with body shots in under 10 minutes.

Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn at UFC 118: Edgar won a controversial decision over Penn at UFC 112 for the UFC Lightweight Championship, and shocked the MMA world just by lasting 25 minutes with Penn. Many expected a motivated Penn to come out and run through Edgar in the rematch, but the opposite happened. Edgar fought a nearly flawless 25 minutes and earned the decisive decision over Penn. It was a fight that put Edgar on the map and forever dethroned Penn as the king of the lightweights.

Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski at UFC 61: It was at UFC 59 that Arlovski looked to be set to successfully defend his UFC Heavyweight Championship against Syliva. He had rocked the challenger with a big hand that sent Sylvia crashing to the mat. However, Sylvia got up, and as Arlovski was in a flurry trying to finish the fight, Sylvia caught Arlovski right on the button and finished him for the shocking comeback win. Months later, the two had the immediate rematch and many expected Arlovski to get the best of Sylvia, but that didn’t happen. In a rather tame fight, Sylvia won a 25-minute decision. Arlovski was too timid and seemed to be afraid of getting knocked out. The former champion never seemed to be the same fighter after losing to Sylvia.


Velasquez vs. Dos Santos: The trilogy the UFC needed

Image ALT text goes here.There was a time when two men ruled the UFC heavyweight division.

Those men were Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski.

The two had established themselves as the best heavyweights in the UFC at the time, and had a trilogy of fights for the UFC to capitalize on.

At that time, it was also clear that there were better heavyweight fighters out there, mainly in PRIDE, thus the trilogy didn’t have that feel of greatness.

Now, years later, the UFC finds itself with the heavyweight trilogy that it always longed for.

There is no question that heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior dos Santos are the top two heavyweight fighters in the world. They verified as much on Saturday with their knockout wins over Antonio Silva and Mark Hunt, respectively.

Now, the UFC is able to market a rubber match between the two after each one has decisively beat the other.

Velasquez and dos Santos have provided a legitimacy to the heavyweight division that has been lacking for a long time.

Sure, there have been some impressive fighters over the last decade, but none that were as technically skilled as Velasquez and dos Santos.

Brock Lesnar was a draw, and a physical freak, but he proved he wasn’t a fighter when he cowered in a ball at the first body kick he took.

Velasquez and dos Santos would have dominated the UFC in the early 2000s and the winner of this upcoming trilogy fight could rule the roost for quite some time.

The UFC finally has its mega heavyweight fight, and it is Velasquez vs. Dos Santos III.


MMA Game Changers: Brock Lesnar

nullThis is the first in a series of posts I will be doing on game changers in MMA history.

Starting in the heavyweight division, I point to Brock Lesnar.

Love him or hate him, Lesnar’s arrival to the MMA scene changed the face of the division forever.

Despite just 7 pro fights in his career, you can clearly see a difference between how the division works now compared to how it worked when he first arrived.

Lesnar first appeared in MMA in 2007 and made his UFC debut in early 2008.

At the time, the heavyweight division had been run by the likes of Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski, two predominant strikers.

Then came Randy Couture, a man who now can’t even fight at heavyweight due to the size differential. Couture was the heavyweight champion when Lesnar broke into the octagon.

When Lesnar showed up, everyone paid attention. Not only did it seem like a gimmick that a pro wrestler would move into MMA and into the UFC, but his shear size was hard to ignore.

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Going back in time: How the UFC has changed in 6 years

nullThe UFC, and MMA in general, has evolved a great deal in a short amount of time.

If you need any proof of that, just take a short trip back to 2005.

Six years ago today, the UFC was one week removed from UFC 52: Couture vs. Liddell II. It was a milestone event for the organization as it was the first PPV event following the debut season of the Ultimate Fighter.

The card featured some of the best fighters in the UFC at the time, but when looking back, it represents just how much the sport has changed since then.

Here is a look at all the champions as of six years ago today, and how their stock has dropped since then.

Heavyweight Champion: Andrei Arlovski – Arlovski had won the interim heavyweight title from Tim Sylvia at UFC 51 and was eventually stripped of the interim label when then-champion Frank Mir couldn’t compete after a motorcycle accident. Arlovski had a dominant run, winning three-straight title fights in the first round. But, “The Pitbull” then suffered back-to-back losses to Sylvia and was never quite the same. At one time he was the most feared fighter in the UFC, but he now is currently on a four-fight losing streak, with three coming by first round knock out. Arlovski’s hands have gotten slower, his chin has gotten weaker, and he never evolved his grappling. That combo caused him to become nearly irrelevant in the MMA. In today’s world, Arlovski would get decimated by current champ, Cain Velasquez.

Light Heavyweight Champion: Chuck Liddell – Liddell was on top of the world at this time six years ago. He just knocked out Randy Couture in 2:06 to win his first UFC Championship. Liddell followed that up with four successful title defenses, all by KO. He was considered an unbeatable champion for two years, but then ran into the powerful hand of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who took the title from Liddell in May of 2007. That loss started the complete downfall of Liddell’s career. He would go on to lose five of his next six, four by KO, which forced his retirement. Liddell’s hands were great, but his style never evolved, and became too predictable. With that, his chin got weaker and he was an easy target for other light heavyweights. It is hard to imagine a scenario where Liddell would be able to contend with today’s champ, Jon Jones.

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