Despite an unfortunate string of events that affected the UFC’s number one middleweight contender Chris Weidman (9-0, MMA) over the course the past year, the inevitable is finally coming to fruition for the 28-year-old undefeated fighter out of Long Island, New York. Now fully recovered from shoulder surgery, on July 6, 2013, at UFC 162, he’ll take on the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and reigning UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva (33-4, MMA).
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve been envisioning this fight since I started MMA about four years ago. Finally I have this opportunity to fight the greatest of all time and I can’t wait to get in the Octagon and I won’t let this opportunity slip through my fingers,” Weidman said.
In an exclusive interview with Heidi Fang of MMA Fight Corner, Weidman also discussed his plans to beat Anderson and why he’s holding out on renegotiating his contract with the UFC.
“This time off, I think I’ve improved my striking more than anything,” Weidman said. “I think I have the knowledge and the confidence on my feet to be there without being nervous and uptight. And I have the range where he’s not going to be in range if I’m not. If we line up with each and we’re in each other faces, there’s a good chance I could grab his leg and there’s a good chance he could hit me at the same time. There’s no disadvantages with that and I think I’m in a good spot with that.”
UFC 162 is on target to take center stage in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 6. The UFC’s Fan Expo and fight card will literally take over Sin City for the July 4th weekend and while Weidman spent most of his time Wednesday on a media tour to promote the fight, Silva opted out of his obligations in Los Angeles just a couple of days ago.
Weidman said he doesn’t think the no-show is Anderson’s way of saying that he’s not taking the upcoming battle seriously at all.
“If that’s his focus is to screw me over with media, I mean, I was going to do the media anyway. I wouldn’t think that he’s thinking like that. But if he is, I mean he’s going to be in trouble come July 6th if that’s his worry. I think he’s going to have more to worry about than that,” Weidman stated.
“I think he’s taking me pretty seriously. I think he knows that I’m a big threat to him to be honest with you. I mean it’s the closest odds he’s ever had since I think the Dan Henderson fight and that’s me with a year layoff and nine fights. And I still haven’t been able to show exactly what I can do in the Octagon. That’s why I’m excited to shine on July 6th.”
Weidman also detailed why he’s not planning to re-negotiate his UFC contract, which expires after the title fight, until after he faces Silva.
“I’m in this sport for one reason, to be the champion and I know the money is going to come when I’m champion. I’m not going to be fighting on a contract to get a couple extra thousand dollars before I fight for the title because I really believe I’m going to win this fight and that’s when the money’s going to come.”
While most fans are clamoring for Anderson to take on Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones in super fights, Weidman noted that he’ll change all of those plans as well.
“The way I see it is that after I beat Anderson Silva, there’s going to be a lot of other fights that people want to see. As far as a rematch with Anderson Silva, me and someone else in another weight class, I think I’m going to come out as the man and then people are going to want to see me.”
Silva vs. Weidman will be the main event at UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on July 6. Anderson Silva is putting his title on the line for the 11th time against Weidman.