No Paper Champion: Weidman Dominates, Weathers Machida’s Attack to Retain Belt
Chris Weidman went a long way toward answering his doubters tonight, taking Lyoto Machida through five tough rounds, dominating the first three and weathering Machida’s aggression in the fourth and fifth.
The “All American” Weidman took it to the former 205 lbs. Champion, using pressure to negate the creative attack of “The Dragon” Machida.
Seeing Machida fight Dan Henderson and win through a series of attacks and escapes, one would assume that would be his game plan coming into this fight with another high level wrestler. And to a large extent it was, as he seemed to visibly frustrate Weidman several times through the fight with his evasiveness. Weidman, for his part, took the center of the Octagon™ in the first round and didn’t relinquish it until the fourth, when Machida began going on the attack more, in response to Weidman’s stifling, pressure style.
The fight had the Las Vegas fans rocking the hall, no doubt worked up over Ronda Rousey’s quick TKO of Alexis Davis, as well as the rest of the solid card. Even though it was missing a heavyweight bout because of Stephan Struve’s medical issues causing him to pull out of his scheduled fight with Matt Mitrione, UFC 175 delivered.
Chris Weidman delivered.
I’ll admit, I had my doubts about Weidman, having beaten Anderson Silva for the title and then defended it against him in two quirky bouts, but after his performance tonight most of those are set aside. He proved he is a worthy Champion, showing everything you look for in one: domination, courage, heart and a solid chin.
With this second successful defense of his title, I think it’s fair to say the Chris Weidman era is here.