MMA Betting Futures: New UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman

| July 7, 2013 | 3:03 pm | Reply

Chris Weidman Post UFC on Fuel TV 4Last night at UFC 162 Chris Weidman shocked the world, both in terms of result and execution. A worthy challenger to the throne long-held by Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman showed no fear in his bout against the greatest fighter of all time, hitting an early takedown and finding no purchase with several submission holds. As the fight returned to standing, Anderson Silva began his routine of slipping, moving and hand fighting, sucking Weidman into a striking battle the young man shouldn’t want any part of. This charade continued into the second round when disaster struck for the champion. While feinting grievous injury from a punch that landed, Weidman threw several follow-ups, catching Silva as he attempted to arch backwards away from the shots. The strike landed flush on the exposed chin of Silva and sent him crashing to the canvas, signaling a bizarre and unsatisfying end to the historic championship reign.

It left us with an odd question of “What’s next?” as the fight, and Silva’s post-fight speech, were non-conventional and left many more questions than answers. It’s a short list, but one that could give you some value in upcoming fights as we look at some odds for Chris Weidman’s title run.

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 2

Anderson SIlva -185

Chris Weidman +145

In a rematch this odd, involving a somewhat unknown quandary in Weidman, it’s of the utmost importance to look, not at the finish, but at everything that lead up to it. What we saw from Weidman was a takedown that worked reasonably well and a solid functional blend of wrestling and BJJ. The comparison of Weidman being better than both Sonnen and Lutter leading up to this fight was clearly not the case, although saying “better” in this circumstance is erroneous, as Weidman uses a far smoother style than the hard-nosed approach of the former. Considering what Weidman pulled off vs. Sonnen and Lutter, we now know that it’s that unforgiving and tight grappling style that works best against The Spider, rather than what Weidman brings.

This was the only takedown Weidman landed in two attempts, having been fork lifted off the leg both times and controlled in the clinch with ease. In striking exchanges, Weidman was seldom on target and had no answer for Silva’s repeated leg kicks.

While we didn’t see Silva’s best effort against Weidman, we saw a completely half-ass effort that was actually working fairly well for more than half the fight. Considering Silva will approach this one in serious fashion next time out, I can’t see too many spots for Weidman to get anything going here. The major difference however will be in what Weidman does in the downtime. With a championship belt, new sponsors and media opportunities will afford Weidman the financial freedom to train at the elite level and allow him to blossom to his high potential. We could very well see a serious Silva taking on an all new Weidman next time and spell the same result, but my money says Weidman doesn’t have the tools to take out a primed and ready Spider.

Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort -160

Chris Weidman +130

If Silva’s lack of desire for a title fight is indeed genuine, rather than post-concussion mouth diarrhea, this leaves very little in the way of tests lined up for Weidman. One test that stands out is the chemically charged threat of Vitor Belfort, whom the UFC has been less than enthusiastic about putting into the title picture. Coming off of a dominant win over Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold, Belfort has the strongest claim to the Middleweight strap of anyone inside the UFC and stands as a firm test for Weidman.

We haven’t seen a great deal of Weidman at the elite level, but Belfort has looked like a new man in his last several bouts, having sharp reflexes, raw power and the hand speed he’s made his career on. It’s this hand speed and power that would give Weidman trouble, as there are few who can replicate Belfort in the gym and Weidman’s chin remains untested against hard strikes. While Weidman could surprise Belfort with a smart top game assault, I don’t see him having the easiest time of setting up that shot and faces constant danger in the pocket. As such, I have to put my money on the proven commodity of Belfort to defeat Weidman before he can get his game plan in action.

Chris Weidman vs. Rashad Evans

Rashad Evans -185

Chris Weidman +145

With options tapped out at Light Heavyweight and a marketable name, Rashad Evans stands as a great option for a Middleweight title shot if the above two circumstances don’t pan out. Having faced the legendary power of Dan Henderson and come out on top in his last fight, taking on an unproven foe in Weidman is something that would certainly appeal more than another crack at Jon Jones.

Evans has started to show his age on occasion, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a better boxer/wrestler at the upper weights. Having mopped the floor with Phil Davis in a five rounder, Evans style of grappling has proven to be a real buzz kill for anyone looking to play at takedowns with him; gliding through positions and giving nothing away. With some of the fastest hands in the business at Light Heavyweight, Evans can chew up Weidman in the pocket and control the matwork for the eventual win, by late TKO or decision, grabbing his second strap in a second weight class.

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Category: Betting, Exclusive, Featured, MMA, Opinion, UFC

Mike Hammersmith (Featured Staff Writer)

About the Author ()

I'm a 20+ year veteran of martial arts and a fan of MMA since UFC 1, when my world was thrown on its head by the budding sport. I'm obsessive in the pursuit of martial abilities and have competed across the country in everything from Vale Tudo to archery to Scottish broadsword. Once my body broke down, I picked up a pen and went in the direction of writing. I specialize in betting advice, predictions, and I'm a walking encyclopedia of MMA trivia. I own a cafe in Exeter, NH called Hammersmith Sandwich Company and write out of my office between customers.

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