Sunday, 29 January 2012

UFC on Fox 2: Weidman vs Maia - The Recap

Chris Weidman went into this fight and undefeated 7-0 and, while he had a lot of hype behind him, a lot of people suspected he may suffer from coming in to this fight on very short notice.  Maia on the other hand, is a veteran ju jutsu practitioner who promised that his stand up game has continued to evolve.  There was some doubt over whether Weidman could hang with Maia on the ground, in spite of his own considerable grappling credentials and about whether Maia would be too wily and experienced for the up and comer.

via yahoosports

The Fight
In the first round, Weidman just looked bigger, stronger and faster than Maia in every aspect.  He got the better of the standing exchanges and any time Maia tried to clinch up without permission, he was tossed aside like a rag doll.  At this point, I was pretty excited.  OK, it was a shame that my prediction appeared to be completely unfounded, but it was pretty cool to see someone so young dominate a guy of Maia's quality and pedigree.  However, into round two and both fighters gassed significantly.  Weidman landed some takedowns but really did not manage to do much with his positions.  The third round really looked like a pair of amateur heavy weights at the end of a five round war.  Hands were low, punches were weak and Maia had his back to Weidman for about 2 seconds on the feet and the American did nothing.  The third round was a truly awful performance from both fighters.  In the end, Weidman deserved a decision and, since Chris came into the fight off such short notice, the blame for this catastrophe has to be laid at Maia's feet.  This GIF (from ironforgesiron) does not quite do justice to the lack of luster in this fight, but you can see a glimpse of the sloppy technique and general weakness that was on display.

What's Next?
Well Weidman stepped up a level in this fight, probably a bit faster than he needed to.  He did a good job of grinding out a decision in spite of a tricky last minute weight cut.  Next, I would really like to see Weidman go back towards another mid-tier guy.  I think there is something to be said for him fighting Bisping, however I would like to see Bisping given another high profile shot given the injustice of his fight's outcome.

For Maia, he really performed very badly here.  I am not sure where he goes from here because he is a big name but just does not deserve a top level fighter next.

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