Chris Weidman Memorabilia a Hot Commodity After Beating Silva

August 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Blog

By Rich Bergeron
Chris Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) spent more than half his pro career fighting in the Octagon before his improbable dismantling of middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC).
Chris Weidman Topps UFCStill, his name is still new to many sports fans. Until he proves his knockout of a showboating Silva at UFC 162 was no fluke in their rematch on December 28, he may be labeled as more lucky than good.
The memorabilia market for Weidman merchandise was already established before UFC 162, but since then the amount of Weidman autographs available have expanded. Some of Weidman’s collectible items have also gone up a bit in price.
Yet one seller on Ebay, who just sold a signed 8x10 photo of Weidman for $60, is offering Anderson Silva’s signature on a photo for a $99.99 “buy it now” price. Such is the state of affairs for the man who is still fighting for respect even after beating one of the best fighters in the world.
A wide variety of gloves and sports cards autographed by Weidman are also out there for anywhere between $50 and $300. There is even a Round 5 figurine of Weidman that went on the market before his fight with Silva. As far as recognizable sports stars go, Weidman still ranks fairly low on the totem pole.
That may be partly because mixed martial arts fighters -- in general -- are so accessible to the general public. They don’t make the millions of dollars per year other sports pay their athletes, and they don’t typically travel with security details to keep the public at a distance. Just about anyone can approach a famous fighter at a fan expo and get an autograph without having to pay a huge fee.
At the same time, there are only a few of the best MMA fighters in the world who remain undefeated through the bulk of a full career in the sport.
Fans and collectors who snatch up Weidman items now could be sitting on a gold mine down the road if the new champ keeps rolling over the competition until he retires. The native of Baldwin, New York is just 29 years old.
The widespread acceptance of Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is currently allowing fighters to continue to compete at the top levels of the sport far into their 40s. Bernard Hopkins is still boxing at the ripe old age of 48, and that’s without the benefit of TRT. By those standards, Weidman could still have another 20 years left to establish himself as a true MMA legend.
As the sport of mixed martial arts continues to grow and become more mainstream, fighters will also become more famous and earn higher paychecks. Weidman made just $48,000 for the Silva match, and his "fight of the night" bonus on top of that still didn’t get him past $100,000. His opponent made $600,000 in the losing effort.
Should Weidman continue to dominate the middleweight division for another 10 years, he could wind up getting the first UFC contract guaranteeing him a million dollars per fight. Right now light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (18-1 MMA, 12-1 UFC) is on course to get there first but, at the current rate of fighter pay, it could take a lot longer than 10 years for the first seven-figure paydays to materialize.
Weidman will more than likely see the biggest financial boost from increased sponsorship offers in the months and years to come. His talent was established enough before the Silva fight for multiple MMA stars to predict his win with a particular confidence few other prior opponents of Silva have commanded from the experts.
Yet one can’t ignore how well Silva adjusted for his previous rematch with a man who dominated the action for most of their fight. Chael Sonnen lost their first fight but out-wrestled Silva through the bulk of the bout.
Many experts predicted Sonnen would get the job done in their second meeting after that epic battle, but Silva didn’t make the same mistakes twice. He quickly dispatched Sonnen in the rematch, and if Weidman can improve like that between fights, Silva will have no hope of regaining his belt.
It would also be no surprise to see Weidman memorabilia start skyrocketing in value if he can beat Silva for a second time. At any rate, the young champion’s fate is in his own capable hands, and only he can make sure his star remains on the rise.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!