Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Sonnen: Another reason MMA fighters should take self-promotion seriously

Only about seven or so months ago, it seemed unlikely that we’d ever see a match between Anderson Silva, the reigning UFC middleweight champion and Chris Weidman, a New Jersey born upstart.

While Weidman had recently done very well in his UFC match with Mark Munoz that was broadcast on Fuel TV 4, most fans had yet to become at all familiar with his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Further complicating things, Silva wasn’t particularly concerned with a title matchup against “The All-American,” but rather kept his focus on more profitable options against more well-known competitors.

However Weidman (9-0-0, 3 Kos) persisted and continued his ongoing self-promotion efforts eventually wearing down Silva’s resolve. Weidman, who was born in New Jersey maintained a constant media presence after his victory over Munoz, repeatedly issuing challenges to Silva (33-4-0, 20 Kos) and criticizing him for allegedly cherry-picking his opponents. Each challenge earned Weidman support for his cause and reinforced the growing belief that “The Spider” was running from a fight with the as of yet undefeated upstart. This belief was not helped by Silva’s vocal willingness to fight anyone else in his division besides Weidman and served only to add fuel to the fire.

Though the president of the UFC, Dana White wasn’t particularly interested in a Silva vs. Weidman matchup either, he quickly came around as the fan base began to demand the fight. The state of the middleweight division at the time combined with the unfortunate fact that the bigger fights between Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones just weren’t going to happen until late in 2013 made the decision far easier.

Naturally Weidman was very pleased about how things happened.

“Dream come true,” said Weidman in an interview on Newsday. “Ever since I’ve been fighting, Anderson Silva has been the champion and I’ve been visualizing beating him. Now I have the opportunity. I have to make the most of it.”

Despite Weidman’s thus far impressive record, he has yet to face anyone with the competitiveness of Silva. Having only a couple top 15 level fights under his belt, it’s a good bet that Weidman will learn the lesson “be careful what you wish for” the hard way during their summer matchup.

Having successfully defended the middleweight championship 10 times in a row, Silva is inarguably the most successful champion in the history of the UFC. This comes as no surprise as even the best MMA fighters the world can offer can’t seem to find a way to avoid his blows.

While some propose that Weidman will triumph through use of his wrestling technique, this author has to disagree, noting that Silva has defeated experts using these strategies before.

It’s possible that Weidman’s grappling technique could earn him a couple of take downs, but it seems unlikely that he’ll be able to keep Silva on his back for the whole fight as experts in a number of techniques including brawling, submissions, wrestling, and various mixes of these all seem to have difficulty defeating Silva.


Original article written by David King

Rewritten by Chauncey Kent

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