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Thursday, 07/19/2012, 07:29 am

Why Chris Weidman Is Not Next In Line I Editorial

 

Any fighter who is on the cusp of the title picture calls out the champ of their respective weight class after a big win. Its just instinct. You just won a fight and now feel that you can beat anyone on Earth as the adrenaline continues to course through your veins.

Whether or not you are truly the next in line is a much different story.

As is the case with rising UFC middleweight prospect, Chris Weidman.

Weidman would appear to be on an unstoppable title run as he dominates his opponents and looks better in each fight and at only 28-years old, he might have made a definitive case for himself as he is 5-0 in the UFC and 9-0 over his career, finishing six of those fights.

His latest (and greatest) victory came from his outstanding second-round knockout of Mark Munoz, who had his signature ‘Donkey Kong punches’ used against him after a devastating elbow landed to his forehead.

Weidman looked absolutely incredible as he threatened with submissions and deadly strikes as well as dominating every second of the ground game, which is Munoz’s strongest area.

But does this performance automatically grant Weidman a title shot just because he beat a big name like Munoz? No.

One look at Munoz’s record reveals that in the talent-rich middleweight division, Munoz has defeated the gatekeepers of the division and holds two huge losses to Matt Hamill at light-heavyweight, and Yushin Okami in a fight where the winner got to fight for a title shot.

Aside from that, Munoz is known for dominating lesser opponents and can arguably be considered a gatekeeper himself for the time being, at least until he can get a win that breaks the top-5 mark in the division.

Thus, Weidman shouldn’t be regarded as the next in line to face the most dominate champion the UFC has ever seen. Instead, let this title picture clear up in the next few months and then we can start lining up challengers for Anderson Silva to try and knock down.

Just off the top of my head, several other fighters in the division come to mind as worthy adversaries to face Weidman to really prove his mettle: Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin, Michael Bisping, Hector Lombard, Tim Boetsch, Brian Stann, Chael Sonnen, and Alan Belcher. All of these men (except for Bisping and Sonnen) are coming off of wins and would surely like to test Weidman as all eight of these men are seasoned veterans who have been impressive as of late.

Now again, I’m not saying that Weidman doesn’t deserve a title shot but instead, should prove his worth against at least one of these men to really clear up the title argument.

Most of those fighters do have fights scheduled already but Anderson Silva often takes long vacations in between fights and surely won’t still be fighting long enough to hypothetically defend his belt against upwards of nine people.

So instead, have Weidman thrown back into the mix and help him develop slowly so that if he keeps winning, we see the best Weidman yet to challenge Silva in what could be, at that point, the last fight of Silva’s career.

Not trying to take anything away from Weidman but if he rides this momentum train into a loss against Silva, then hes right back in the mix while critics harass him for not being up to the challenge at this stage of his career. Instead, fight one or two dangerous middleweights and come away with wins before we talk title again.

Then, if and when the time does come to fight Silva, we have a young and hungry challenger who has an even more impressive resume with wins over fighters who stand as more than just gatekeepers in a division that has quickly become one of the most talent-rich in the sport.

comments

21 Comments to Why Chris Weidman Is Not Next In Line I Editorial

  1. Keep Fitch (Forever) says:

    For sure he is a top contender. I think he needs one more win against michael bisping or vitor belfort, i think that will solidify him as #1 contender.

    • everything that guy just said is (not) bullshit says:

      While Weidman may be the biggest threat out there, the fight doesn’t really make sense right now. Hardcore fans who post on forums and monitor the sport closely know Weidman is a beast, but ask a casual fan if they think that Chris Weidman will be the man to defeat Anderson Silva and I’ll tell you what they’ll reply:

      “Who?”

      The UFC needs to put this kid in the spotlight before he gets a shot. GIve him a prime PPV com-main event, complete with a nice segment on the countdown show and have him do a media tour and get his face out there on Inside MMA type shows. Nobody watches Fuel shows. When that deal came out the forums exploded with people pissed because they don’t even get FuelTV so his last win, no matter how impressive, doesn’t make him a marketable contender yet.

      Give him a big name on a big card with all the media and promo that goes with it, he wins that, give him his shot.

      There is no reason why Anderson should fight unknown fighters at this stage in his career, he has earned the right to fight big money fights and it has nothing to do with ducking or being scared, it is just business.

  2. Xaninho says:

    Just throw him in there with Silva. I don’t think he’s ready yet, but at least some of these Silva haters will hopefully shut up after Silva kicked his ass back to the end of the line.

    Their last great white hope Sonnen got annihilated so they’re jumping on the next bandwagon.

  3. mmadred says:

    now everyone is saying munoz wasnt a real contender. we know what happen to belfort, franklin, sonnen, so who right now would you say is the number 1 contender? definitely not bisping (1 win off a lost doesnt put into #1 spot, and you yet to get that 1 win) definitely not stann or boetsch (their only chance to beat silva would be a lucky punch and we know whats going to happen to anyone that plans to stand with silva, this theory even includes bisping). that leaves belcher, lombard, and weidman now who has the best wrestling out of these three. lombard has to show he can win on the big show (sometimes it takes a couple fights to adapt to the ufc). which leaves belcher and weidman of which i believe either one has a better chance than anyone on the list. now im not saying they can beat the champ but a fight is a fight and they are the only 2 that i say can atleast make a fight out of it. now the only person i say that would really pose a threat to silva didnt make the list and that is RASHAD EVANS. what do you think of rashads chances at the champ??

    • True MMA says:

      Evans is a light heavy weight and just because he can’t beat jones doesn’t mean he needs to try another division because by the time you know it he be like ken flo and be all the down to light weight trying to fight for the belt against Ben.

      • mmadred says:

        rashad was talking bout dropping weight and taking a shot at the belt. and no he want be another ken-flo you just kinda ran with that one. lol

      • mmadred says:

        rashad said he was thinking bout dropping weight and taking a shot at the title. he already is a small lhw. and no he wont be another ken-flo you just kinda ran with that one. lol

    • Guss says:

      But it’s not about who has already lost to Silva, it’s who out of the contenders or potential contenders is the better fighter. Which keeps Belfort, Franklin, and yes…even Sonnen in the mix (though I doubt Sonnen will get another shot any time soon, so we can actually remove him from the list). Stann has the tenacity and will to stick to most fighters in the MW div, a true gatekeeper IMO. Get pass him, and people should be keeping any eye on you. Boetsch is a powerhouse as a MW. Something Weidman has not faced yet in the MW. He’s also never faced anyone like Belfort. He’s not only fast, but that speed gives him a lot of power. Weidman isn’t that fast. Belcher is just a tough SOB. I’d like to actually see Chris go up against him for his next fight. Then there’s Lombard, I’ve been a fan of this guy since his Pride days. Just like Silva, who came into the UFC and no one knew anything about him, I followed him since he started in Pride as well. So when everyone was flabbergasted when he beat Leben, and got an immediate title shot and beat Franklin (the rest is history). Just because Lombard is a virtual unknown to most mainstream MMA fans, or more so UFC fans, doesn’t mean he’s a nobody, and that he should be over looked until he “proves” himself in the UFC. He’s beaten some top tough fighters outside of the UFC, he’s even dismantled former UFC fighters as well. You can’t take anything away from these guys who’s made it to the big show, even though they were cut later on. Plus, the argument could be made for Weidman as well, who in the UFC has he fought and dominated over? Munoz. One fight doesn’t make for a title shot. Plus, when he does finally get a title shot, there is a good chance he could be facing Lombard. Boetsch vs Lombard is going to be a barn burner, but I’m putting money on Lombard with a KO or TKO. And White has already been heard saying, if Hector wins, he could be the next guy to face off against Silva. That would be crazy! 2 of the most dominant force in MMA in the MW division going toe to toe!

      • mmadred says:

        lombard? yes he has to make us believe the hype on this level. belcher & weidman only contenders that pose a threat. this is no disrespect to belfort but its hard to sell that rematch for the money silva makes. on a good note i feel we will be seeing a superfight sooner than later at this point. its about the money and no one in the mw division really can sell the type fight a superfight would.

  4. jbeamazing says:

    Vitor and maybe hector if he is the real deal are the only ones Chris W might not run through

  5. Whateveruwant says:

    Silva got a title shot after one win… y not give him one after 4 wins…

  6. mmawizard says:

    Hahha rich Franklin? Come on man, he is just a gatekeeper at this point.. don’t kid youserlf into thinkinghes anything else right now.

  7. Shawn says:

    I totally agree with the article. One win over a top 10 guy, who was coming off an injury. And Munoz WAS off in that fight. Not taking anything away from Weidman, but IMO he faced a less than 100% Munoz. Which is still a tough guy compared to many at 100%. Munoz was probably the toughest guy Weidman has faced to date. His win over Maia was very lack luster, and didn’t showcase his potential. Had he dominated Maia and finished him, he’d be that much closer to a title shot. Right now, he’s just proven he can be thrown into the mix. But no title shot in the near future. 1-2 more fights with any of the contenders the article listed, and a decisive win over them, then he should be considered for a title shot. Not before. If he had a title shot now, and lost in Silva fashion, that could very well hurt his career. Or at least slow it down considerably. He’s young, unless the powers that be give him one, after the stars align correctly, he could stand to wait and strengthen his resume. So that it leaves no doubt in anyone’s mind that he totally earned a title shot.

  8. mj says:

    You know what is funny, we are all scatching our heads trying to think of who the number one to and three are, but they have already been beat. IMO Vitor and Chael are still the only threats to Silva. Vitor could finish him and Chael proved that if he gets him down he can keep him there. Not saying the latter is a great way to win but Chael is a better wrestler then Chris. I wont comment on Hector because he could be the next big thing..lol or he could be the next guy that was just hyped. A Vitor vs Silva rematch wouldnt be bad, I personally would like to see it. It would be a finish and I would bet anything it wouldnt be a foot to the face one. PS. would love to see bisping get toyed with by AS, but hate that he would get a fat pay check for it.

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