No Time Like Present for Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva III

I understand that Anderson Silva has reached out about a potential rematch with Nick Diaz. But that is not the fight to make. With the UFC targeting a fall return to Madison Square Garden in New York City, how about a third meeting between “The Spider” and Chris Weidman instead? First, a quick disclaimer: if […]

I understand that Anderson Silva has reached out about a potential rematch with Nick Diaz. But that is not the fight to make. With the UFC targeting a fall return to Madison Square Garden in New York City, how about a third meeting between “The Spider” and Chris Weidman instead? First, a quick disclaimer: if […]

Anderson Silva Calls Out Nick Diaz For Rematch

Former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was scheduled to take on rising contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 this past June in his native Brazil, but the bout was scrapped after it was announced that Gastelum had failed a drug test. The UFC had tired to find a replacement opponent Silva, but nothing came […]

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Former longtime UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva was scheduled to take on rising contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 this past June in his native Brazil, but the bout was scrapped after it was announced that Gastelum had failed a drug test. The UFC had tired to find a replacement opponent Silva, but nothing came to fruition, and “The Spider” still does not have a fight set.

At 42 years of age, Silva, a man many consider to be the best fighter of all-time, has hit some rough times since losing his title in 2013. He clearly isn’t the same fighter, although he is coming off of a decision victory over Derek Brunson, and appears to be focused on continuing his career.

With that being said, “The Spider” recently took to his official Instagram account to call out Nick Diaz for a rematch:

Silva and Diaz faced off at UFC 183 in Jan. 2015 in a bout that Silva won via decision. The outcome was changed to a no-contest, however, when both men failed drug tests. Diaz ended up receiving the longer suspension, as the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) sent him to the sidelines for a whopping 18 months.

That suspension, however, ended last August and Diaz has been eligible to once again compete for about a year now, although he hasn’t shown much interest in doing so.

If the Stockton native is indeed interested in returning, would you like to see him run it back with Silva?

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Georges St-Pierre Calls Out Michael Bisping For Massive Fall UFC

It’s been a long, confusing saga concerning longtime former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s octagon return. The legend, whom many consider to be one of the top three of all-time, has been out of fighting since he vacated the belt in the aftermath of a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks in the main […]

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It’s been a long, confusing saga concerning longtime former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s octagon return.

The legend, whom many consider to be one of the top three of all-time, has been out of fighting since he vacated the belt in the aftermath of a controversial split decision win over Johny Hendricks in the main event of November 2013’s UFC 167.

“Rush” teased a return repeatedly over the next four years, but that potential was seemingly realized when the French-Canadian superstar unveiled his intention to come back and face middleweight champion Michael Bisping at a weight class he had never fought at before.

A press conference, where Bisping played the perfect part of a drunken heel to St-Pierre’s usual clean-cut superhero fan favorite, was set up and given to fans days prior to March’s UFC 209. But while the UFC wanted the fight to go down this month, St-Pierre repeatedly insisted he couldn’t fight until after October at the earliest. When he did so publicly online, UFC President Dana White was quick to say that they would now pit Bisping against Yoel Romero.

Photo by Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

There was a big problem with that plan, however, as Bisping was still healing from the knee surgery he had in the months after his first title defense, a close decision call over then-No. 4-ranked arch rival Dan Henderson. With a vast part of the MMA world calling for Bisping to defend his belt against the rightful challenger Romero, his injury paved a path for this Saturday’s Romero vs. Robert Whittaker interim title fight at UFC 213. White went on record again to say that St-Pierre would fight the winner of this month’s Tyron Woodley vs. Demian Maia bout at UFC 214.

We can take that with a grain of salt, of course, and it’s clear Bisping is holding out to not only get his knee healed up, but also to hang on to that elusive monster payday that comes with fighting St-Pierre in his return bout. He’s admitted as much, and as a prize fighter who’s paid his dues arguably more than any other UFC athlete in the promotion’s history, he deserves that. The timing is just bad, because he makes it seem like he’s ducking Romero – or maybe Whittaker – which, in a sense, he may be.

Today, news has come that he may just get his wish. According to a information from MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, “GSP” texted both “The Count” and White issuing a challenge to battle him at the UFC’s planned pay-per-view (PPV) event at Madison Square Garden on November 4:

“Michael, you should man up and fight me 11/4 in NY,” St-Pierre wrote. “I’m coming out of retirement to retire you. Dana [White], please make it happen.”

Regardless of if you agree with how St-Pierre has behaved during his comeback, he does have a strong point in that he is a legend coming out of retirement for what he thought was a fight versus Bisping, even if it is just because he views the longtime vet as the easiest path to becoming a two-division champ the quickest.

The UFC promised him and Bisping that fight, and no matter how many fans complained about it, they would obviously pay to watch what would be a monstrous title bout in a year when MMA and the UFC needs one more than perhaps any year in recent times. The mistake came when the promotion’s new ownership may have realized it and announced it with a presser early in the year even though St-Pierre had apparently told them he had an eye injury that kept him out of sparring until late fall.

Either way, however, the payday still looms and a fight with Romero or Whittaker just doesn’t have the same luster as facing an all-time legend – and a proven PPV superstar – in his long-awaited return. Are you ready to see this fight booked again?

Do you want to?

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Chris Weidman Was Offered Third Anderson Silva Bout at UFC 212

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 3 was on the table for UFC 212. Weidman told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” that he was offered a third bout against Silva at the pay-per-view last month. He explained why he had to turn down the fight (via MMAMania.com): “The UFC was asking me if I would […]

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 3 was on the table for UFC 212. Weidman told Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” that he was offered a third bout against Silva at the pay-per-view last month. He explained why he had to turn down the fight (via MMAMania.com): “The UFC was asking me if I would […]

Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva III Nearly Happened This Year

In only two days’ time, it will be the four-year anniversary of when Chris Weidman shocked the whole mixed martial arts (MMA) universe by knocking out a clowning Anderson Silva at UFC 162, changing the course of revered UFC middleweight division in the process. After their UFC 168 rematch six months later where Silva broke […]

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In only two days’ time, it will be the four-year anniversary of when Chris Weidman shocked the whole mixed martial arts (MMA) universe by knocking out a clowning Anderson Silva at UFC 162, changing the course of revered UFC middleweight division in the process.

After their UFC 168 rematch six months later where Silva broke his leg, Weidman went on to defend the title twice against two former light heavyweight champs in Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 and Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort at UFC 187. Four straight wins over true UFC legends in tow, it looked as if Weidman was on his way to becoming a legend himself.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea for USA TODAY Sports

Fast-forward two years, though, and after a brutal beating from Luke Rockhold, a devastating flying knee from Yoel Romero, and a controversial TKO loss to Gegard Mousasi, and Weidman is suddenly fighting to merely be a top contender in the deeply talented 185-pound fray heading into his headlining bout against rising star Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of July 22’s UFC on FOX 25 from the Nassau Coliseum.

During an appearance on today’s episode of The MMA Hour, however, Weidman revealed he almost had another big fight lined up this year after the UFC offered him a trilogy match at June 3’s UFC 212 from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after Gastelum of all foes was forced out for failing a drug test for marijuana. Weidman was still getting the injuries from his fight versus Mousasi checked out, and had to decline:

“The UFC was asking me if I would fight Anderson Silva. This was, I think three and a half weeks before that fight was going on. In Rio, and I’m just like ‘no’. I was still getting things checked out on my body, and going to different doctors.”

Photo Credit: Kevin Hoffman for USA TODAY Sports

And even though he’s on by far the worst run of his career, Weidman still wasn’t desperate enough to fight a man he’s already beaten twice before in his volatile hometown on super-short notice:

“I had just gone to Vegas, got it all checked out. I already beat the guy twice, I’m going to take a fight on short notice and head to his hometown to fight him? I’m like ‘yeah, that’s not happening. If you want me to fight Anderson again, bump it up a couple of weeks, if you want to do it in Nassau Colosseum or some other time, but I’m not going to do it on short notice.”

Weidman was ultimately booked versus Gastelum in his present must-win fight, yet it’s at least somewhat legitimate to wonder if Weidman would be better off fighting an aging 41-year-old superstar with huge name value rather than a surging 25-year-old knockout striker who’s looked nothing less than lethal in recent outings.

If he does somehow get past Gastelum, perhaps a trilogy match with “The Spider” could be a possibility while the all-out mess of the middleweight division is sorted out when Yoel Romero meets Robert Whittaker for the interim belt at this weekend’s UFC 213 and then waits for injured champion Michael Bisping to finally return and defend the title against a real contender.

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Win or Lose vs. Wanderlei Silva, Chael Sonnen’s Shtick Is Getting Old

Chael Sonnen fights on Saturday, and the whole damn thing is getting pretty old.
All of it.
The flexing, the witticisms that have been in the can for nearly a decade, the proclamations of being undefeated and undisputed without ever holding a belt and …

Chael Sonnen fights on Saturday, and the whole damn thing is getting pretty old.

All of it.

The flexing, the witticisms that have been in the can for nearly a decade, the proclamations of being undefeated and undisputed without ever holding a belt and racking up 15 professional losses in his career.

It’s painful, most of it the product of a bygone era when salesmanship was linked to verbal ingenuity and such ingenuity was lacking so badly in MMA that any amount of colorful wordsmithing was enough to get attention.

And that’s what Sonnen did.

He talked. And talked. And talked.

He wrote stuff or had people write stuff, and he delivered it with the precision and polish of an ’80s wrestling heel, and it made him rich. When his reinvention started in earnest after a 2009 loss to Demian Maia, most of it was founded on moderately exciting ground-and-pound and majorly exciting trash talk.

People loved it, hated it or loved to hate it, but it got people talking about him, and it was one of the earliest and best examples of how a mixed martial artist gets paid in the sport in modern times.

It got him across from two of the best, and it made him rich in the process. He fought Anderson Silva twice and might be more responsible for the Brazilian’s mainstream breakthrough than Silva himself, and he fought Jon Jones entirely by talking his way there—and to the associated pay cheque.

So this isn’t about hating on Sonnen. Quite the contrary.

He’s a lovable lug in his own way, a guy smirking from one side of his mouth while selling wolf tickets from the other, carnival barking ludicrousness in hopes of separating the average rube from his dollars.

But the shtick is old. It’s tired. It’s time for some new material.

How about, as an example, a win? Sonnen hasn’t posted one of those since 2013.

Granted, some of those years were taken away by failed drug tests and an associated retirement (interestingly one of the few things Sonnen has approached with considerable seriousness in his career) that would still hold a lot more clout than ripping off Superstar Billy Graham to the joy of a collection of media.

Saturday provides a chance for Sonnen to produce that new material.

Bellator: NYC opponent Wanderlei Silva is eminently beatable, a fellow 40-year-old who was never much for defending tireless wrestling and has had his own PED perils over the past few years.

He hasn’t done much since he tornadoed Brian Stann into the dirt only a few months before Sonnen scored his last win, and no one is expecting much from his Bellator debut. The fight itself is the attraction, the idea these two will finally throw hands after years of being abstractly tied to one another.

And perhaps that’s why Sonnen is as he is.

He hasn’t provided value inside the cage for an incredibly long time, but he’s still a name that looks great in the bright lights of the World’s Most Famous Arena.

All the sass and swagger he manicured for years as a UFC fixture, making him so capable as a podcaster and analyst—areas many would suggest he’d be better off retiring to for good, win or lose against Silva—are still enough to make him rich in the realm of paid fisticuffs.

It doesn’t change the fact underscoring all the bluster, though: Chael’s shtick is getting old, and without it, there isn’t much else to be said about him. 

The hard part might be convincing him of that.

      

Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder.

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