There is a widespread belief that a loss for Anderson Silva, the best fighter in the UFC, and the world, would be a loss for the UFC. However, Chris Smith from Forbes magazine argues that precisely the opposite is true.
Many are predicting that the Spider will lose the strap tomorrow night, and there couldn’t be a better outcome for the UFC.
Silva has held the middleweight belt for nearly seven years. While legacies are great for business – hello, New York Yankees – a new champ would inject some life into a weight class that’s become a bit stale. Moreover, a Weidman win would immediately set up a rematch between the two fighters.
Rematches are incredibly popular. Silva’s rematch against Chael Sonnen last year drew a staggering one million PPV buys, and that was without the storyline of Silva as comeback contender. Should Silva take the title back in a rematch, the potential rubber match would likely be the most anticipated fight in MMA history.
The one downside of a Silva loss is that it would erase much of the excitement surrounding a potential superfight with Georges St. Pierre. However, like Pacquiao-Mayweather, the Silva-GSP superfight doesn’t seem to be in the cards, regardless of what happens this weekend.
Underdog upsets are some of the most exciting moments in sports, and the first UFC loss of the all-time greatest would be headline news. But more importantly for UFC and its fans, a Silva loss would create an incredible rivalry and set up a rematch that could challenge UFC 100 for the sport’s biggest pay-per-view draw. That’s the sort of victory UFC, a quickly growing but still niche promotion, really needs, and Weidman has the best chance yet of delivering it.
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