The greatest fighter in the history of the world, undone by his own arrogance.
That's what viewers who tuned into UFC 162 witnessed Saturday night from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
It was a moment of supreme importance and historical significance. Chris Weidman, given little chance by many (myself included) to beat Anderson Silva, knocked out the long-reigning middleweight champion to capture the title in the main event of an electric event.
And it happened in the strangest and goofiest of ways. Weidman did not wrestle Silva to a decision. He did not submit him. Rather, Weidman caught Silva in a moment of supreme hubris.
Weidman did use effective wrestling and ground-and-pound in the first round, but Silva had escaped and begun his usual ploy of clowning around with his opponents. The second round was much of the same, with Silva trash-talking the 29-year-old and imploring him to come forward. He even offered up his leg for a Weidman takedown attempt.
In short, it was the same thing we saw against Forrest Griffin. Against Demian Maia. Against others.
But this time, "The Spider" paid the ultimate price. As he dodged and swayed, Silva was a touch too slow, and Weidman caught Silva flush with a hook. Silva's head and eyes rolled, and he collapsed on his back.
A few Weidman punches later and the greatest champion in UFC history was dethroned by his belief that he was so much better than Weidman that he didn't even need to offer the American the same respect offered him.
Perhaps Silva has finally aged. We knew it would happen. Perhaps his reflexes aren't what they used to be, and the 38-year-old wasn't able to effectively do the same things he did against Griffin and others who Silva easily outclassed.
And maybe Silva just finally picked the wrong guy to tool around with.
I don't know the answer. I also can't figure out why Silva elected to pour water on the idea of an immediate rematch with Weidman.
The Spider, even in defeat, remains as elusive and strange as ever.
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