On Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman ground out a convincing points victory over veteran and former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

In doing so, Weidman has proven once and for all that his tenure as middleweight champion has been no fluke. Many fans have, rightly or wrongly, questioned the legitimacy of his championship credentials due to the manner of victory in the two fights he had with Anderson Silva.

Silva battles

In the first of these fights, Weidman knocked his opponent out in the second round whilst Silva was clowning around and dropping his hands to his side, feigning injury.

Silva fans were claiming at the time, and still claim now, that were it not for those antics, Silva would have gone on to win the fight. They fail to acknowledge the fact that Weidman thoroughly dominated Silva for the entire first round.

In the rematch, Silva's leg was broken horrifically when Weidman used his shin to check a Silva leg-kick. Again, Silva fans like to say that Silva would have gone on to win the fight had it not been for the injury and again they fail to acknowledge that Weidman had dominated the first round and very nearly knocked Silva out.

Weidman deserves respect

With victory over Machida, Weidman has shown that he is the real deal and that he needs to be respected. With Machida bested and Silva seemingly way past his best and no longer relevant, there are few viable title challengers in the middleweight division. Weidman looks set to dominate for many years.

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