It hasn’t even been a week since Chris Weidman stunned Anderson Silva at UFC 162 and the UFC has wasted no time in signing a rematch. UFC president Dana White made it official on ESPN and announced Weidman vs. SIlva II is ready to go for UFC 168.
The rematch being signed is not exactly surprising as White insisted immediately after the fight that the rematch would be signed. It was a matter of when as there were all kinds of rumors about Super Bowl weekend but in the end the fight was added to UFC 168 in Las Vegas, NV.
Dana White made the announcement live on ESPN Sportscenter. I found it curious that ESPN got the scoop considering how much White has criticized ESPN over the years. On top of that the UFC has a partnership with Fox. I would have assumed that one of the Fox outlets would get the scoop over ESPN. It will be even more interesting to see how similar situations play out like this in the future once Fox Sports 1 is live.
I think this is a real true test to see exactly where the UFC is at in 2013. White is calling this the biggest rematch in UFC history but that honor currently belongs to Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir with 1.6 million. No fight has come close in recent years to eclipsing their pay per view numbers. I would think that anything under a million buys would have to be considered a huge disappointment while beating the UFC 100 buyrate would be an absolute game changer for the promotion.
Silva is already a favorite on the sports books going into the rematch. Opinions on the first fight are as mixed as you get depending upon who you were pulling for in the fight. Personally I think Weidman got lucky and was on his way to a rough night if he didn’t land the punch. Many others think that Weidman had Silva’s number at the bell. It is interesting to see that the gamblers aren’t buying Weidman and believe that Silva is still the better fighter.
The fight will co-headline along with Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey. Ironically there were rumblings that Silva and Rousey were going to co-headline UFC 162 with the idea that the UFC would sell it on the best male and female fighters in the world. I am still not fully on board the Rousey hype machine but together, the UFC is probably not going to have two bigger stars than Silva and Rousey on the same card for a long time. The numbers should be pretty good regardless.