Even sports fans who weren’t big UFC fans knew that the Chris Weidman upset of Anderson Silva earlier this year was a big deal. Now the two of them are set for a rematch this weekend in UFC 168 in a battle that should draw tons of viewers. Weidman (10-0) defends his new title against Silva (33-5) in Las Vegas, and the fight card is stacked with other great fights as well.
But all of the attention will be on these two. Silva is a favorite to win back his title following that stunning upset, but many experts are pointing out that Weidman is a matchup nightmare for Silva with his grappling skills. Others point to the fact that Silva was dropping his hands and acting like a diva in the last fight. Now he will take Weidman seriously. This is the perfect kind of rematch that boxing promoters loved to stage for years, and some have argued that it almost worked out too perfectly for the UFC. Regardless, this bout should be talked about for a long time.
There are tons of stuff to bet on these days, but like in the old days with boxing a big fight is the kind of event everyone likes to get in on. Of course if you’re in Vegas you’ll be playing the table games. In London everybody knows that online poker means 888. When it comes to horse racing everyone likes to bet the Kentucky Derby. While the UFC has grown dramatically in popularity it still hasn’t quite approached the glory days of boxing with fights like Ali – Frazier. But with the Weidman – Silva rematch you start to get the kind of excitement needed to propel a sport to the next level.
It will be interesting to see just how much buzz this fight creates. It could set viewership records, particularly as it’s happening over a holiday weekend. If the fight lives up to the hype, then the UFC will take another step in becoming must-see TV.