Saturday’s UFC 162 pay-per-view was one of the better cards the company has produced in a long time, but all the headlines after the event were focused on the main event and how Anderson Silva finally lost his title to Chris Weidman.
Silva wasn’t the only loser Saturday, though, as many of the top names on the card came up short. Where each goes from here is imperative to their respective careers.
While Anderson Silva claimed immediately after his loss to new middleweight champion Chris Weidman via KO that he did not want to fight for the championship anymore, per UFC’s YouTube page, there is no doubt that the next bout for the Brazilian must be a rematch.
Weidman is still one of the freshest faces in the division, and with Silva winning 17 fights before his tough defeat Saturday—including 10 successful title defenses—White confirmed via John Morgan of MMAJunkie that he wants this rematch to happen sooner rather than later.
Whether Silva wins or loses the rematch will not impact the long-term view of his reign (he is still arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time), a second fight against Weidman is what the fans want.
Silva will realize the potential of this bout and eventually agree to the rematch.
When fans think about the Gracie name in the sport of mixed martial arts, it is filled with legacy and greatness. Roger Gracie did not live up to those expectations on Saturday when he was defeated by Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision.
Gracie was one of the middleweights acquired by UFC when Zuffa closed Strikeforce and was expected to make a run at Silva or whoever was the divisional champion eventually, but he lost in his very first fight with his new employer.
Now Gracie must win his second bout in the UFC.
While there are more than enough names in the middleweight division to square off against next, the right match would be against the loser of the Jacare Souza vs. Yushin Okami bout in September.
It would result in a long layoff for Gracie, but after his tough loss Saturday, that extra time may be exactly what he needs to get back to 100 percent physically and mentally.
There was a time when Chris Leben was one of the most polarizing fighters in the sport, using his trash talking and brutal style to run right at his opponents and give the fans the thrilling fights they wanted.
At 32 years old and the recipient of a devastating split-decision loss to Andrew Craig on the preliminary card, Leben must find a great test in his next bout and come out with a convincing victory.
If he doesn’t, Leben will be looked at as nothing more than a divisional gatekeeper.
Another fighter in Leben’s boat is veteran Tim Boetsch. With both fighters handed a defeat Saturday and their careers going nowhere fast, White should make this bout happen with the caveat that the loser will be let go by the company.
That would raise the stakes on this potential in-ring war.