The Backhand Heard Round The World
If you’re a Chris Weidman fan it would be hard to imagine a sweeter outcome then what we witnessed last night. If you’re an Anderson Silva fan, you may well be lamenting and complaining.
From what I can gather, most Silva fans seem to think that Anderson lost as opposed to Weidman won. That the x-Champion (it feels strange to type that) was first, too cocky and secondly caught by a lucky left.
However, what I’ve heard no mention of regarding the punch was the right-backhand that set it up and I find it difficult to believe that it wasn’t planned and hadn’t been trained.
Weidman threw an initiating right and Silva easily avoided it and as we have seen him do countless times in other fights.
Yet, what “The Spider” wasn’t anticipating and to-the-best-of-my knowledge had never seen before, was (that) rather than following through with the right “The All-American” reversed its direction and turned the punch into a glancing backhand. In reaction, Silva moved his head in the opposite direction and directly into the wheelhouse of Weidman’s big left. Fight over.
My guess is that Ray Longo (Weidman’s boxing coach) had studied Silva’s “chicken dance” and came up with that counter. Simply put, that part of Weidman’s game-plan (from Longo) was to get Silva to exchange with Chris, wait on the right moment during one of Silva’s chicken dances and interrupt his head movement with that backhand. It’s my belief that Longo knew where Anderson’s head was going to be once the backhand had been thrown and had coached Weidman to follow it up with a heavy left.
If true, then Chris is a better fighter then people are giving him credit for and Ray Longo is a very smart man. If not true, then Chris is a better athlete then naysayer are giving him credit for and has a very high Octagon IQ for thinking on his feet (no pun intended) and that either way, Longo will go down in history as the man behind the stand-up the KO’d Anderson Silva.
Personally, I believe the right / backhand / left combination was trained and drilled and not lucky and that Weidman is a great fighter and Longo a smart man. Regardless of any of it though, it was both shocking and beautiful to watch.