Today, the UFC held it’s conference call for UFC 162 which features a middleweight title fight between longtime champion, Anderson Silva (33-4) and Chris Weidman (9-0).
The call was mostly directed the the middleweight champion, Silva as he fielded questions that ranged from his legacy in the sport, a fight with Roy Jones Jr. and even the current civil unrest taking place in Brazil. When asked if his anticipation was high for the fight with Weidman in particular, Silva remained stoic in his desire:
“No nothings changed, a fights a fight.”
Silva kept to his mindset that he isn’t necessarily thinking about Weidman as a big threat but instead just preparing himself while improving his skill set:
“I don’t really train to think about my opponent, I train to fight. I’m not thinking about my opponent, I’m thinking about myself and getting better at what I do. I think regardless of the pressure, it becomes natural.”
Aside from his highly anticipated bout with Weidman, Silva was also frequently questioned on the potential fight with boxing great, Roy Jones Jr. in a crossover fight sometime in the future. Silva responded but bolstering the idea and gave his reasons why a fight with Jones Jr. is something he wants:
“Of course I want to fight him, maybe after this fight regardless of the outcome with Weidman I can fight him. Theres a lot of possibilities of things that can happen. Thats a fight I always wanted we just have to wait for the next chapter of Anderson Silva in the UFC.
“I feel that his boxing style is one that I’ve like to test myself against”, Silva stated, Everything’s a possibility but its gonna come down to my willpower and desire to fight. I have a lot of desires outside fighting, one of them fighting Jones Jr., so we will just have to see what happens.”
The Brazilian native was also fielded questions that sought information on his stance over the riots and civil unrest that is taking place in Brazil, and how he fits in to the scenario as a prominent Brazilian icon:
“I think Brazil is going through big changes right now, It has everything to become a great place for civilians and tourists. I think they’re valid as long as they’re peaceful and there is no destruction of property. As long as people have a lot of knowledge on whats going on, I think its a good thing.
“What needed to be said and what needed to be done is being said and done. His job right now is to fight. People need to exercise their rights.”
“B.J. Penn is number one then Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell then Royce Gracie”
For his own legacy, Silva he turned the attention over to children, as he strives to set a good example for the next generation of fighters and fight fans as well as returning to his kids safely on July 6th, no matter what the outcome:
“I think whats most important is to set good examples. I’ve already done everything there is to do. Its about setting examples for the kids.
“I want to do well and return to my kids in one piece.”
The rumor mill was in full swing as well. Silva was asked if a supposed call to Dana White, from Silva, had been made following Jon Jones’ successful title defense at UFC 159, requesting a fight with the light-heavyweight champion:
“Everyone already knows that I didn’t call Dana, I don’t even have his [personal] number.”
Whether or not Silva really did request this fight is still up in the air. As for the long proposed superfight between Silva and welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, Silva seemingly shut the door on it, after asked about St-Pierre’s prediction of Weidman over Silva come July 6th:
“Imagine if I start listening to everything people say. GSP had his chance to pronounce himself against me but he chose not to do it.”
Predictions for this bout have been surprisingly split as a majority of UFC fighters including current and former champions have picked Chris Weidman to dethrone Anderson Silva, while some don’t believe the hype.
Time was made for UFC middleweight contender, Chris Weidman also. Weidman was asked how he felt with all the media attention as the biggest fight of his life approaches:
I’m handling it pretty good. Just another part of the job, trying to enjoy it.”
Weidman also touched on not being selected immediately for a title shot after his win over Mark Munoz. Weidman stated that although he was over it, he was still affected:
“It was frustrating to hear that they weren’t interested in me, everything happens for a reason. I’m thinking back to the past, things worked out well.”
As for Silva’s first title defense against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, Weidman informed the media on what he pulled from that fight as Sonnen came the closest anyone has of taking Silva’s belt:
“Obvious answer is takedowns. Want to expose him on the ground. Main thing I learned is that Chael was maybe a little too uptight during the stand-up, let Silva relax. I think he definitely has a strong mental game, A lot of guys I think he beats before they get in to the Octagon. His performances speak for themselves and draw in to the minds of those who are going to step in the cage with him”, Weidman stated. “I’ve been keeping my eye on since day one. It’s always a pleasure to watch and I definitely admire him.”
Weidman was also asked about a potential match-up with Jon Jones. He remained open to the fight but put the final decision in the hands of the UFC and the fans:
“I gotta beat Anderson first. Whatever UFC fans and the UFC want to do, I’m definitely willing to do it. But I have to get through Anderson first.”
As for his upcoming fight with Silva, Weidman spoke on not only the physical requirements to become the next middleweight champion, but also the mental ones:
“I have a psychology degree so that might help a little bit. Biggest thing is to stay confident and stay relaxed. I’m pretty good with having a strong mindset.”
UFC 162 takes place on July 6th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. For LIVE play-by-play and results, visit BJPENN.com the night of the fights.
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