With no major boxing going on tonight, I took the opportunity to check out UFC 162, because I so rarely get the free Saturday night that it takes to watch an entire UFC show live as it happens. As I've mentioned many times before on the site, I'm an MMA, but far closer to casual than diehard.
Tonight's main event featured MMA pound-for-pound star Anderson Silva against Chris Weidman, an unbeaten (9-0), 29-year-old American underdog. Silva, whose name has popped up in boxing circles associated with Roy Jones Jr and his desire to box one of his heroes or whatever, even though Jones is now a 44-year-old husk of his former self.
In the fight's opening round, Silva spent a lot of time with his hands at his sides, daring Weidman to hit him. MMA writers -- the buffoons! -- went on and on about Silva's masterful head games, and how he had infiltrated the poor, overmatched Weidman's mind. "That's what makes him so special." The otherworldly ability to clown around during a fight. The way he was toying with Weidman, making him look a fool, as we sat and waited for the "Spider" to strike. When he did, no doubt it would be vicious and seemingly effortless. Cruel fate awaited Chris Weidman, who surely knew in his mind that he was in over his head, and that there was nothing he could do to pull the colossal upset.
After the first round, I -- a genius! -- sent out this tweet:
For those who got the joke, it was (obviously) hilarious. For those who didn't, well, they were able to look up the clip in question if they desired.
If you still don't know what I'm talking about (which I admit is unlikely given you're on this site, but I have to use the clip here, right?), there was a night back in 2005 when Nate Campbell faced Robbie Peden. Campbell, determined to show his superiority and his fearlessness, dropped his hands to his sides to demonstrate to Peden that his chin was pure iron, uncrackable by his wimpy punches.
Then this happened:
I'm not claiming I'm Quasimodo of Notredamus over here. My earlier prediction (after four rounds) that Tony Thompson would stop David Price in five was given "mad props," as it were, but I'm not that proud of it. To me, it seemed obvious that Price was finished, that Thompson knew it, and that it wasn't going to go any further. (Also, I picked Price to "emphatically" get revenge earlier, so whatever.)
And this Nate Campbell reference really didn't come from any forecasting state of mind. It was just a thing that popped into my head watching a guy stand around with his hands down, trying to look like some kind of indestructible monster.
Then, in the second round, it happened. Weidman smashed Silva on the button with a left hook, which sent the Brazilian to the mat, where Weidman quickly finished the fight, shocking the MMA world.
It's the level of upset you just don't see much in any sport, let alone fighting sports. This is about what it would have been like if Robert Guerrero knocked out Floyd Mayweather in May. Not only is it a big upset, but it's hugely relevant to the sport and changes the landscape. Anderson Silva is no longer the pound-for-pound king. And Chris Weidman is suddenly a key player in mixed martial arts.
Rest easy, Nate. Even though your worst and probably most regrettable in-ring moment has the spotlight shone on it once more this evening, you have been replaced. After tonight, this behavior and the ensuing result will no longer be known as "getting Nate Campbell'd." From now on, it will be known as "getting Anderson Silva'd."