Does Chris Weidman Need To Beat Lyoto Machida To Silence His Doubters?

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is undefeated at 11-0; his last two fights finish victories over the man many feel is the best fighter to ever step into an MMA cage in Anderson Silva. But despite those illustrious accomplishments, the world’s No. 5-ranked pound-for-pound fighter still has an unfortunate air of doubt surrounding his wins over the once dominant “Spider.”

At UFC 162 last July, Weidman shocked the world when he knocked out a clowning Silva with a well-placed left hook in the second round. It was a great showing by Weidman, who was all about business as Silva danced and taunted his way around the Octagon.

Sure, he had done that many times before scoring an unbelievable knockout, but this time was different. The former champion wasn’t doing much damage or counterstriking; he was simply joking around.

And Weidman made him pay, yet Silva literally danced into blow that signaled the end of his reign like he was a zombie extra in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Many cried fluke, and the rematch was promptly scheduled to take place at UFC 168 last December. Of course the bout has now gone to infamy after Silva gruesomely broke his left leg throwing a leg kick in the second round. The taunting was gone and Silva was noticeably more serious, but he didn’t have much for Weidman after getting rocked and taken down in the first round. Still, the injury leaves a lasting cloud of uncertainty to Weidman’s title reign.

He’ll look to put that theory to bed when he faces off with former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in the main event of July 5’s UFC 175 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Machida has looked more than impressive since cutting down to middleweight, knocking out former training partner Mark Munoz with a first round headkick and UFC Fight Night 30 before outclassing former Strikeforce and DREAM champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event of February’s UFC Fight Night 36.

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