For Chris Weidman, his legacy has revolved completely around beating Anderson Silva twice.
The UFC middleweight champion is proud and happy of his previous accomplishment, but he’s ready to move on. He’ll do that Saturday night, facing Vitor Belfort for the title at UFC 187.
Weidman (12-0) scored a decision victory last July over Lyoto Machida, but injuries and other issues have kept both he and Belfort from squaring off.
“I’m excited. I’ve been thinking about him for about a year,” said Weidman, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “I’m ready to get past him. Anderson Silva was on my mind for six years. I’m ready to run right through this guy, dominate him and make a statement.”
The former college wrestler has claimed eight wins inside the Octagon since debuting back in 2011, quickly moving up the charts. Weidman’s 2012 knockout of Mark Munoz vaulted him to the No. 1 contender spot and he took full advantage, finishing Silva a year later.
Having fought Silva, Machida, Munoz and others, Weidman knows that he’ll be getting a different opponent in Belfort.
“He’s very explosive, I wouldn’t say he’s quicker than Silva and Machida, but he brings a more straight forward game, but with explosive speed,” Weidman said. “He was known for fast hands, now with the head kicks and spinning kicks, he’s able to mix it up. He’s definitely improved. He’s changing his game and evolving.”