“My friend Chris Weidman, when I see him in training, I believe he’s going to beat Anderson Silva. I believe it’s a bad matchup for Anderson Silva. It’s very bad. Not only is he going to beat, I believe he’s going to finish Anderson Silva. I believe it’s not going to be too long, that fight. People will be shocked. Anderson Silva is smart because Chris Weidman, he come back from an injury, a long layoff, so it’s the time to fight him right now. It’s going to be the best time to fight Chris Weidman right now, so Chris needs to be sure he needs to get very well-prepared for this fight.” – Georges St. Pierre
In May of 2001 I had a complete shoulder reconstruction to repair a torn labrum, some slight tears to my rotator cuff and to heal a separation from many years ago. I was 22 years old. Three months after the surgery, and a number of physical therapy sessions later, I could go back to working out with weights. A year after the surgery my shoulder was as close to being 100% as it was going to be. I still have problems with range of motion and have had to change my workout routine to avoid certain things that’ll aggravate it. Twelve years later there aren’t any issues but the large scar I see in the mirror reminds me of my limits.
This is the same injury that Chris Weidman had … and the same surgery to repair it too.
On paper a July 6th matchup between Weidman and Anderson Silva makes me salivate as a fight fan. Silva is the greatest fighter who’s ever lived, at least in my opinion, and this represents a tough fight for him. Chris Weidman is a better grappler than Chael Sonnen, who gave the Brazilian fits in two high profile matchups, and has a relentless style on the mat that could cause Silva plenty of problems.
Weidman’s grappling is on a greater level than Sonnen’s and his striking has improved by leaps and bounds since he first stepped onto the scene; the one-time Olympic hopeful has found a home as an elite middleweight in MMA. And if this had been the fall of 2012 I’d be excited for this matchup, or at least as excited as someone who writes about MMA can be. A shoulder injury to Weidman has put him on the shelf since a stunning win over Mark Munoz on a FUEL TV card several days after Silva stopped Sonnen in the biggest fight of 2012.
But the one thing that I keep coming back to is that shoulder injury. I may not be a world class athlete, or a world class fighter, but recovering from that sort of surgery is something that takes a while. If there ever was a case where a fighter should take another fight or two, to work out the kinks, it would be for Weidman. You only get one chance to become an undefeated champion and Anderson Silva isn’t the fighter that you take on when you come back from an injury.
That’s why Weidman-Silva fight is interesting to me. Weidman has wanted a title shot ever since he stopped Munoz and one can see why he took the fight when offered. The division waits for no man and when it comes to time this might be the only time he ever gets a title shot. Michael Bisping has been around longer than nearly any other UFC middleweight and has never fought for the belt, for example, and Weidman clearly is taking his shot while it’s on the table.
It leads me to one question: is this the right time for it? Let us know below.
Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others).