When Chris Weidman (10-0) stepped into the octagon at UFC 162, many mixed martial arts fans didn’t expect him to defeat longtime middleweight champ Anderson Silva (33-5). When he flatlined the Brazilian legend in the second round, those fans must have been shocked.
Even though he decisively won that fight, there are still a slew of critics who are calling it a fluke and expect the rematch to go much differently. Weidman is happy to upset them for a second time.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Weidman shared his thoughts on his underdog status and what it means to have the belt and defend it.
“I feel like to solidify my championship, I need to defend my belt, especially going in against the same guy and everybody saying it was a fluke,” he said during a teleconference in support of the UFC 168 pay-per-view headliner on Dec. 28 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“I wasn’t the favorite last time, and I didn’t expect to be the favorite this time,” he said.
In their first bout, Weidman crushed Silva with a left hook while the Brazilian was dancing around and mocking his attempts to hit him. When Silva steps into the octagon to face him in their rematch, it’s not likely that he’ll be so frivolous. Weidman knows that, and he plans on beating him anyways.
A second win over Silva will cement Weidman’s status as champion. The critics who called his first performance a fluke will have to bite their tongues if the “All-American” bests the thirty-eight year old Silva for a second time. Then, the target that was in Silva for so many years will move its way onto Weidman’s back.
UFC 168 takes place on December 28th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.