Chris Weidman says his second title win was no fluke either. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Although Chris Weidman will admit that his second finish of Anderson Silva was unorthodox, it was by no means unexpected.
Weidman, who retained his UFC middleweight title in brutal fashion on Saturday night after Silva broke his leg while attempting a low kick in the UFC 168 headliner, told Fox Sports shortly after his victory that his counter to Silva’s attack was a result of practice rather than luck.
“[My trainer] Ray Longo actually broke a guy’s leg like that in the gym by putting the knee right on that shin when he kicked, just by following [the kick] up slowly,” Weidman said. “It’s not really going shin-to-shin, but getting your knee on the shin. I’ve done it in sparring with some hard kickers to let them know not to kick me anymore. Their legs didn’t break, but they would either take a minute to walk it off or they wouldn’t be kicking me as much. It’s something I’ve definitely been working on, thanks to Longo.”
Weidman took the fight to Silva from the get-go in their headlining attraction at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, dropping the former champion with a short right hand early in round one before quickly following “The Spider” to the mat in order to dole out more punishment.
“To be honest, it was like deja vu when he dropped like that and I started raining punches,” said Weidman. “I knew he wasn’t there anymore, and I thought it was going to get stopped. Then I felt his legs lock up, and he recovered well. I think some refs could have stopped it, definitely.”
The American previously knocked out Silva this past summer at UFC 162 to lift the title from the longtime belt holder, catching the 38-year-old with a crisp left hook that put him on the deck after Silva spent much of their standing exchanges taunting the heavy-handed American.
Though Weidman said he felt comfortable upon hitting the cage for Saturday night’s rematch, the hours leading up to the bout were a different story.
“Every single time fight night comes, there is no easy way to get the nerves out of your system. You just have to accept it, and you get better and better at it with the competition,” said Weidman. “This time, I felt more nervous. When I was in my hotel room, I had the most comfortable people in my life around me, and I still just wanted to get this over with. The anticipation was crazy.”
After surviving Weidman’s flurry, Silva managed to tie up the champion to some effect from his guard, avoiding most of the hard shots to force a second round. Just 76 seconds into the next period, however, Silva would collapse to the ground, screaming in pain and clutching at his left leg after uncorking the fateful low kick.
“When he landed that kick on my knee, I knew I had checked it [well],” said Weidman. “I thought he would at least be in pain, but when he put his foot back down, and I saw his leg roll up, I knew the fight was over and he wouldn’t get back up. It was a crazy ending.”