Opinion: Opponents for New Champ Chris Weidman?
By Michael Hatmoto
New UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman shocked the MMA world by ending the six-year championship span of Brazilian fighter Anderson Silva.
During the main event of UFC 162, Weidman was able to take Silva down and land some shots standing – it was Silva’s showboating that ultimately set him up for disaster,
Here are the two seemingly best options for Weidman at this point:
1. Anderson Silva: This is a no-brainer. UFC President Dana White already said Silva would get an immediate rematch, if the Brazilian veteran wants it. After controlling the UFC middleweight division in such dominant fashion, Silva certainly deserves an immediate rematch. I think Silva’s Muay Thai is still enough to knock out anyone in the middleweight division, but not if he’s unfocused and disengaged.
2. Vitor Belfort: I don’t really like the idea of Belfort fighting for the championship again, but the Brazilian fighter has finished all seven of his last victories, and has only lost to UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former champion Silva during his UFC career.
The UFC would have had a card to play had Tim Boestch won at UFC 162, but Mark Munoz picked up a unanimous decision over three rounds. Weidman already beat Munoz last July, so it’s going to probably take a couple of wins before Munoz is back in the mix.
The middleweight division has been flipped upside down and there will need to be a bit of time to see the division work itself out.
Remember, Weidman has just 10 professional fights dating back just four years, so there are a lot of matchups the UFC could put together. As long as Weidman keeps relaxed and can deal with the pressure of being champion, Weidman is just 29 years old and has long-term potential as a budding superstar.
I think it will be extremely difficult for anyone to beat Weidman, because his wrestling base and submission game will work alongside his strengthening striking skills.