Dubbing 2013 as the year of the underdog wouldn’t be entirely accurate, but there were plenty of unexpected results over the last 12 months. And none were bigger than Chris Weidman’s stunning second-round knockout of Anderson Silva at UFC 162.

With a flick of his left hand and a follow-up left hook, Weidman turned the UFC’s middleweight division and the entire MMA world upside down. The once invincible Brazilian Silva had finally lost inside the Octagon and it wasn’t because he was outwrestled; he had lost at his own game.

Oddmakers gave Weidman a better chance of beating Silva than any challenger in recent memory. Better than Chael Sonnen. Better than Vitor Belfort. But Silva was still considered more than a two-to-one favorite heading into the July event.

Weidman did what many expected he’d do early in the fight: take Silva down. But the American could not keep him there and Silva began to toy with him on the feet. The Brazilian’s antics appeared to demoralize Weidman, but he continued to press forward in the second round. His efforts paid off, when he surprised the champion with the left hook and then further rattled Silva’s brains with more shots before the referee could intervene.

It was hardly the biggest upset in the sport’s history, as the knockout of Georges St-Pierre by Weidman’s coach Matt Serra will likely hold that title for quite some time, but it was definitely one of the defining moments of 2013.

The knockout win set up one of the most highly anticipated rematches in UFC history at UFC 168, but Weidman once again came out as the champion as Silva suffered a gruesome leg injury. While Weidman’s reign over the 185-pound began with an upset, it has now been legitimized heading into 2014.

Honorable Mention: Emanuel Newton over Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal (Bellator 90), Josh Burkman over Jon Fitch (WSOF 3)
The MMA Corner’s 2013 Awards were selected by our staff of writers and photographers. Unless noted otherwise, the nominations were open to all fighters, promotions and events that took place during 2013.