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Chris Weidman showed no fear when he stepped into the Octagon at UFC 162 to face middleweight champion Anderson Silva, the man regarded as the finest MMA fighter of all time.
Weidman, known to fans as “The All-American,” has never doubted his skills or his resolve to become the best fighter competing in the UFC. His stunning second-round knockout of Silva – a thunderous left hook that rendered the Brazilian unconscious – shook the MMA community.
But Weidman proved it was no fluke. In their rematch at UFC 168, he controlled the first round on the canvas, then was awarded a TKO victory when Silva, attempting a low leg kick, suffered a broken leg in the second and the bout was stopped.
The win improved Weidman’s record to 11-0, and he remained unbeaten with two more commanding victories over Brazilian superstars: Lyoto Machida by unanimous decision and Vitor Belfort, who was knocked out in the first round at UFC 187.
In the Octagon after the Belfort fight, Weidman shouted, “Hey, stop doubting me!”
If there indeed are critics, it makes no sense to doubt him anymore, especially given his impressive list of successes. Weidman, who drapes himself in the American flag before and after his fights, was a two-time Division I All-American wrestler at Hofstra University, where he earned his degree in psychology; a 2009 U.S. Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion; a two-time junior college All-American, and a New York state high school champion.
Of his first 13 professional victories, nine have come via knockout or submission, and he has finished six opponents in the first round.
Weidman’s takedown skills are among the best in the UFC, but his punching power was displayed prominently against Silva, who brought in a 17-fight win streak at the time they met. Silva was taken down in the first round and unwisely decided to showboat when the second round began. He stuck out his chin and was immediately floored by the left that ended the fight.
Weidman and his wife Marivi reside on Long Island, N.Y., with their two children, Cassidy and Chris Jr.