Back in July, Chris Weidman did what many thought was impossible. Not only did he defeat the widely agreed upon pound-for-pound best fighter and UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, he did it in a spectacular fashion, via TKO. Weidman beat the king and won the middleweight belt. Now, in less then two weeks at UFC 168, he gets the chance to do it again.
On Tuesday, Weidman and Silva participated in a UFC conference call with the media.
Weidman touched on the hype surrounding the rematch and how he’s dealing with it.
“I definitely feel the excitement for this fight,” said the UFC middleweight champ. “I did a pretty good job of staying pretty closed. I didn’t have too many distractions. I haven’t really felt it too much like you would expect it. Starting this week, it’s going to get a little crazy with the media and I’m sure I’ll feel it more.”
Weidman is hoping to put on a repeat performance.
“Just like any other fight, I want to go in there and get the finish,” said Weidman. “I want to go out there and shine and show the world what I can do and prove myself right on what I can do. There’s no better person to do it against than Anderson Silva, and I don’t think I’ll be happy with that if I don’t finish the fight.”
The champ acknowledges that he needs to defend his title to really solidify his place as the king of the division, but feels even more pressure to do it against the former champion, Anderson Silva.
“I feel the same as a lot of other champions. I feel like to solidify my championship, I need to defend my belt and especially going against the same guy, with everybody saying it was a fluke. It’s not really extra pressure, just more motivation to prove them wrong. I’m just excited to go out there and prove them wrong.”
Weidman’s future rests on what happens in the octagon at UFC 168.
“I still feel like I have everything to lose in this fight. Like I said before, I need to win this fight to solidify me as champion. I want to go on and achieve a lot of my other long-term goals in the sport. And to do that, I need to win this next fight. I put a lot of pressure on myself, and it’s pressure that I put on myself when I decided to get involved in this sport. So, it’s the same mentality going into this fight as the last one.”
UFC 168: Weidman vs. Silva 2 takes place Dec. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.