Full Contact Fighter’s “The Daily Takedown”: UFC 162, or Marketing 101 — How To Sell A Fight
By Joshua Molina
“If there is one guy in the middleweight division who can beat Anderson Silva he is the man. Chris Weidman will be the next middleweight champion,” spouts George St. Pierre.
“This is the guy to beat Anderson’s (Silva) undefeated streak,” says former Strikeforce Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier.
“Without a doubt this is going to be Anderson Silva’s toughest defense of his belt to date,” says UFC analyst Kenny Florian.
If you have watched the Countdown to UFC 162 show then you have heard these comments made by about Weidman and his pending battle with Silva, regarded as pound-for-pound the best mixed martial artist in the world.
Even the UFC’s best promoter is on the Weidman train.
“I will fight anybody at anytime, but everytime when I was in that division and my phone rang I would say geez I hope they are not going to tell me I have Chris Weidman,” says Chael Sonnen.
And, of course, Weidman is in the script:
“I am a nightmare matchup for him stylistically. I have better wrestling. I have better Jiu Jitsu. I am young. I am hungry. I am athletic. I am long,” Weidman says.
Nobody knows what will happen when Silva and Weidman step into the cage Saturday night, but the promotion of this fight has illustrated the UFC’s considerable marketing talent. Some people are actually starting to believe tha Weidman can actually pull this off.
You can’t really believe anything Sonnen says. He’s an entertainer, showman and comedian. He’s there to make you laugh. So the idea that he was afraid of fighting Weidman is ridiculous. Here’s a guy in Sonnen who destroyed Silva for four rounds and nearly dethroned him before getting caught in a triangle choke.
If he could do that to Silva there was no way he was afraid of Weidman.
But that’s how Sonnen is. The best talker and showman in the business.
But GSP? Mr. Canada? Mr. Superman? Mr. Treadmill?
The idea that he has been Weidman’s biggest cheerleader in this fight buildup is not funny, but it has been laughable. Here’s a guy who ran from a dream fight with Silva and is now acting like he’s the expert on how to to beat Silva.
It’s fine for GSP to root for his buddy Weidman, but he should know that no one really knows what is going to happen when two guys step into a cage. For him to be out there dancing in the end zone before the bell even rings hurts his credibility.
Cormier is almost as puzzling. A smart, likeable guy, Cormier seems out of place in his support of Weidman. And how can Kenny Florian call Weidman Silva’s biggest test?
Did he miss the first fight between Sonnen and Silva? Good luck to Weidman if he can do what Sonnen almost did, but you just can’t make bold predictions about a guy with 9 fights, calling him the pound-for-pound best’s toughest matchup to date.
It’s insulting to the fans who know better.
Maybe Weidman will take Silva down and knock him out. Maybe Weidman will take him down and submit him. Maybe Weidman will knock him out with standing kicks or punches.
Or maybe Silva will figure out a way to win with his striking and Jiu-Jitsu. Which scenario is more likely?
Soon, we will all find out if the UFC hype machine was telling us the truth about Weidman.
Contact reporter Joshua Molina at firstname.lastname@example.org