The MMA world is abuzz after the shocking result of UFC 162, which saw Chris Weidman finish Anderson Silva's reign as the world's top middleweight fighter by knocking him out in the second round of their bout Saturday night.
Now that SB Nation's fighting blogs have had a little bit over a day to react, they have quite a bit to say about what Weidman and his future, as well as Silva, his legacy, and what's next for the man who just had the longest title defense in UFC history ended in a matter of seconds. (Oh, you might also want to watch The MMA Hour, which leads with an interview with the new champ.)
Anderson Silva slain by his own arrogance, Dave Doyle, MMAfighting.com
"Credit Weidman for having the poise and mental toughness to keep his focus and capitalize in a way the others couldn't. Weidman earned his victory and is a worthy holder of the title. But only the naive and those with New York-area hometown bias believe Weidman was the true story coming out of Saturday night. UFC 162's shocking finish etches in stone the fact that Silva's clown antics at his worst is every bit a part of his championship legacy as his brilliance at his best."
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman results recap, Zane Simon, Bloody Elbow
"It's history being made, and that doesn't happen that often. No matter what your thoughts on Anderson, Weidman, or the fight in general, this is a moment that needs to be seen and remembered, because in the long run it may not be."
Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman full fight video highlights, Geno Mrosko, MMA Mania
"Anderson Silva might still be the greatest mixed martial artist in the history of the still relatively young sport but he can no longer refer to himself, honestly at least, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion."
UFC 162 'Fix' rumors fueled by Anderson Silva's pre-fight prediction of losing to Chris Weidman, Jesse Holland, MMA Mania
"A lot of mixed martial arts (MMA) conspiracy theorists have latched on to "The Spider's" pre-fight comments as more evidence that the fix was in last weekend in "Sin City," despite the fact that the betting lines did not reflect big returns."
Georges St-Pierre says Anderson Silva 'got caught,' is still the best in the world, but would lose a rematch, Shaun Al-Shatti, MMA Fighting
"I predicted Chris Weidman was going to win, but I didn't think he was going to win the way that he won," St-Pierre told PokerListings.commidway through Sunday's World Series of Poker tournament. "I thought he was going to win on the ground, with ground and pound, or maybe some submission. But he won with a knockout, a beautiful knockout, standing up. I think Silva got caught. I think Silva is still the best in the world, but he just got caught. It happens to everyone."
Where UFC 162's finish and Anderson Silva's streak rank in all of MMA, Dave Meltzer, MMA Fighting
"The two most memorable MMA finishes that I've been fortunate to see live were in many ways very similar, but in one way were completely different."
UFC 162 results recap: Who is next for Chris Weidman?, Dave Bohn, MMA Mania
If Weidman can defeat Silva for a second time, regardless of his physical or mental standing, it would silence any doubters and truly indicate that a new era has begun.
Fighters decline as they age. This should be an uncontroversial statement, and it's been repeatedly backed up by in-depth analysis, as this piece from the incomparable Fightnomics firmly demonstrates. This statement, however obvious, leaves out the truly intriguing questions. At what point in their careers do fighters tend to decline? What are the factors that correlate to exceptional longevity or, alternatively, a rapid falloff from one's peak? Finally, what are the causal factors that contribute to this decline?
UFC 162 results: Chris Weidman, Fabricio Werdum and the anatomy of a legendary MMA upset, Jason Probst, MMA Mania
"And what defines greatness, especially in combat sports, is the ability to execute from Point A to B with rarified effectiveness. It also takes one hell of a mindset to upset a legend, and the guess here is that Weidman, like "Bigfoot," applied his advantages on an aging legend."
UFC 162 in Tweets: Pros react to Chris Weidman's stunning knockout of Anderson Silva, Shaun Al-Shatti, MMA Fighting
"Regardless of how it transpired, the reality is that Weidman is the new UFC middleweight champion. Silva's eight-year, 15-fight reign of dominance came to an unceremonious end on Saturday night, as the entire MMA community sat in stunned disbelief at what it just witnessed."
Anderson Silva's legacy steadfast in light of UFC 162 knockout loss to Chris Weidman, Jesse Holland, MMA Mania
"The curtain fell last night in "Sin City," but expect his highlight reels to air in syndication for many years to come. The championship bar has now been set and reigning UFC titleholders like Georges St. Pierre, Ben Henderson and Jon Jones are all trying to catch up.
Chris Weidman may be the new 185-pound champion, and deservedly so, but it still feels like the Anderson Silva era."