Anderson Silva and his camp always let opponents do the talking on strategy, and Chris Weidman seemed to be falling into the same trap in the days leading up to their battle for the UFC Middleweight title. Instead, it seemed Weidman may have outfoxed Silva to end his reign.
Weidman talked about needing to get Silva down to wrestle on the mat, and then to continue to grind out a win instead of getting over anxious as a previous Silva opponent had done.
Silva took it all in as he had with other opponents, talking about anything except the actual strategy he would employ. His manager commented that other fighters always talked about what they were going to do to Silva, and Silva just waited and did what he was going to do during the match. It seemed to work well during his 17-0 run as middleweight champion during the last seven years.
However, Weidman seemed to be broadcasting false information as the second round played out in stunning speed.
Get Silva to the mat? Instead, Weidman used left hooks in the second round. Silva pretended to be hurt by round one, going into his normal slouching mode that is usually followed by kicks to take down opponents that thought they had done damage. Only this time Weidman simply came back harder, eventually landing a left hook that left no room for Silva to continue clowning.
Be sure not to be overly aggressive when he did get the advantage? Instead Weidman pounced on Silva with a flurry that forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight in front of a stunned crowd in Las Vegas.
Whether Weidman was truly sending Silva false information to create a surprise opportunity, or whether the opportunity for the short left hook simply presented itself and Weidman altered his strategy in the second round we will never know for sure. The one thing we do know is that Weidman has stunned the UFC world by becoming the new middleweight champion.