Weidman Defends Title: But Will He Get the Respect He Deserves?
By Matthew Benoliel and Steven Rothman –The Fighting News Reporters
“People are going to be talking about that last kick for years.”-Karate Kid II
Gruesome and horrific are the two words being thrown around by the Internet journalists following the Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva fight. Both words are 100% accurate, describing a brutal and unfortunate ending to arguably the most anticipated fight in MMA history. However, at this time, 1:49 am on Sunday morning, a quick Google search reveals no less than seven pages of headlines that attribute the leg-breaking to Anderson Silva’s misfortune, and not to the skill of Chris Weidman.
Were these journalists so quick to get their stories out that they did not listen to Joe Rogan’s post-fight interview with Weidman and did they miss the part when Chris attributed his skill of checking leg kicks with his knee to his trainer Ray Longo? Let’s give credit where credit is due.
Any MMA practitioner or fan knows that checking kicks by raising a leg to meet the kick shin-to-shin is a relatively easy skill to acquire. Remember the Rex-Kwon-Do scene in Napolean Dynamite? It really is that simple. However, to check a kick on the tip of your knee requires considerably more skill and athleticism, and the technique is less frequently executed by MMA fighters.
The technique is well known, however, to Ray Longo, as it is a cornerstone of Filipino Kali, which in turn is a component of the Jeet Kune Do style that Longo has been teaching for over twenty years. It is known as a limb destruction, or “de-fanging the snake.” The idea is to cause damage so that the limb cannot be used again.
In the first Silva vs. Weidman fight, Weidman is seen blocking a high kick of Anderson’s with his elbow held high. Weidman may have been trying to strike Anderson’s shin with the tip of his elbow. If so, this would have been the same technique: de-fanging the snake.
Did Weidman know he would break Anderson’s leg? Definitely not. But he did know that catching the kicks on the tip of his knee would cause damage. Anderson Silva did not break his own leg, as many are currently arguing. Listen to the Champion. Chris was honest and sincere in that post-fight interview and deserves recognition as the superior athlete that he is.