Chris Weidman (10-0) has done what many have failed to do in the past: defeat Anderson “The Spider” Silva (33-5) and win the UFC Middleweight championship.
While many fans and critics are calling out things like “that’s what you get for being cocky” and “Anderson defeated himself,” that doe not erase any of Silva’s previous victories in his run as champion, nor does it make his legacy any less impressive.
In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Silva said he does not want a rematch, even though UFC President Dana White said he would be given one if he lost. If the UFC does honor Silva’s request, it opens a lot of opportunities for fighters to move up and possibly earn a title match.
Fighters like Tim Kennedy (16-4), Andrew Craig (9-1) and Mark Munoz (13-3), who were victorious in tonight’s event might have an easier path toward title contention. Former title contenders like Chael Sonnen (27-13-1), Vitor Belfort (23-10) and Yushin Okami (29-7) could once again find themselves in a title match, but this time they would face a different opponent in Weidman rather than rematch Silva. Perhaps the next champion is someone who has yet to be signed by the UFC.
Still, The Spider may change his mind and take the rematch with Weidman. If that is the case, then the fighters in the middleweight division will have kick back and wait to see if Weidman is truly the new face of the middleweight division.
Who do you think should get the first crack at the new middleweight champion? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.