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UFC Rematch Between Silva and Weidman May Happen After All

July 15th, 2013 · No Comments

It’s been a crazy few days since the MMA world was rendered topsy turvy by Chris Weidman’s stunning knockout victory over UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 162 in Las Vegas. Based on Dana White’s initial reaction and Silva’s immediate post fight comments it initially appeared that no rematch would be forthcoming, leaving the future of one of the UFC’s most marketable fighters in serious question. Since then, however, it’s starting to look more and more like a rematch will take place sometime after the first of the year.

While Weidman’s victory was not a particularly monumental upset in online sportsbook marketplace–Silva had opened a -250 favorite to win the fight which represented one of the lowest prices of his tenure as middleweight champion—the way the fight transpired was at once shocking, yet very predictable. Predictable was Silva’s disrespectful posturing and preening toward his opponent and the mid fight goofing that he’d been able to get away with for most of his career. Shocking was the decisive left hand from the former college wrestler Weidman that sent the Brazilian sprawling to the canvas.

The implications of Weidman’s victory—and particularly in light of the way he won the fight—took a while to sink in. There’s no disputing that Weidman is a talented fighter who conducts himself with class and professionalism but the simple fact is that he’s just not as marketable as Silva. And with UFC buyrates slumping dramatically in the past year that’s a serious concern. More problematically, the nature of the loss made several proposed catchweight ’superfights’ untenable.

Compounding the UFC’s concern was Silva’s postfight comments—amid praising Weidman he suggested that he didn’t want a rematch and that he had no interest in trying to regain the middleweight title that he’d held since 2006. At the time no one was really sure what he meant by that—he didn’t sound like he was retiring but he didn’t sound too enthused about continuing to fight either.

Since then, however, the situation has changed dramatically. Fighters often say things they don’t mean immediately after a bout and in Silva’s case—he’s just now learning English and had just been knocked out after all—some lack of clarity is understandable. Although neither fighter’s camp (nor the UFC) has confirmed a rematch there’s every indication that one is forthcoming. The initial plan was to have it on December 28 back at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. That plan was quickly scrapped and the main event replaced with a fight between Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate.

Now based on comments from Dana White (who admittedly has a tendency to ‘talk first and think later’) a rematch in the first half of 2014 is a likely scenario. Every expectation is that the fight will be confirmed by the end of the month or early August at the latest. While White’s histrionics that it’ll be the ‘biggest fight in UFC history’ are laughable (the UFC did a 1.6 million buy rate for UFC 100 and hasn’t come close to that number since) it’s one of the more intriguing matches that a promotion desperate for marketable fights can put up at this time.

Tags: Misc

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