Though plenty of folks picked Chris Weidman to beat Anderson Silva at UFC 162, seeing “The Spider” go down in the fashion he did still dropped countless jaws. In fact, Silva’s stumble was so shocking it’s even inspired a conspiracy theory stating the Brazilian allegedly threw the tilt. While the argument would be easy to shrug off were it only being made by a handful of fans, this instance involves more than one media outlet running with the notion including a notorious video segment from the folks at Sports Illustrated.
Despite the popularity of saying Weidman’s win over Silva was fixed, any forward-thinking fan or media member has to know the reality of the outcome was far from a scripted matter.
For starters, this was a Mixed Martial Arts show, not a WWE pay-per-view. As such, delivering a main event with a pre-ordained winner would violate a number of laws based on the governing bodies involved. It would also destroy the UFC’s reputation in the same way the NFL ‘s popularity would take a massive hit if the Super Bowl was a sham. Truly, why would the company risk millions of dollars, potential prosecution, and their future as a business to put the belt on Weidman?
Secondly, Silva’s in-ring antics were nothing new and shouldn’t be seen as suspicious. He’s a showman as much as a scrapper even dating back to his days in PRIDE. After being put on the mat early, Silva was baiting Weidman into a stand-up war, i.e. his best chance of winning, instead of waiting for a second takedown to come. And, ultimately, he was successful to a fault, landing some nice strikes before Weidman’s fight-ending attack. But, again, there was nothing questionable about Silva’s decision to clown a competitor in hopes of gaining a mental advantage.
Finally, you’re talking about a situation where a number of parties – family, friends, Herb Dean, NAC officials, etc. – with intimate access to Silva, Weidman, and UFC President Dana White would have to either be in on the situation or completely duped. Again, there’s simply no reason for the UFC to orchestrate such a massive undertaking in hopes of making a new star and selling a few hundred thousand PPV buys.
The discussion on how legit Weidman’s starching of Silva was should end immediately and talk of how the rematch will unfold should begin. Anything else belittles Weidman’s accomplishment and the sanctity of the sport, at least at its highest level.