It wasn’t long ago UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva’s camp stated it was unlikely “The Spider” would see action again before the end of 2012. However, after the UFC’s forthcoming stop in Brazil was left without a headliner due to an injury, Silva wasted little time in stepping up to help fill the hole at the top of the card and will now face Stephan Bonnar at the October 13 event.
Though the match-up should result in an entertaining affair, it doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense either considering Silva’s dominance over the past few years in comparison to Bonnar’s only above-average run in the Octagon. In fact, the disparity between the two was even noted by odds makers who have labeled Silva as a 14:1 favorite. It also apparently irked Chris Weidman, seen by many as the middleweight division’s top contender and a legitimate threat to Silva’s reign with the title.
“I was a little shocked, confused…a little disappointed. I had actually had just ended up getting elbow surgery about a week ago…the same week I find out Anderson Silva is now fighting Stephan Bonnar in UFC 153. It’s tough,” explained Weidman of the situation in an interview with UFC Tonight. “They’re acting like he’s doing such a good deed, which is good – he’s gonna get a lot of PPV buys which is good for the UFC – but it’s a smart move on his part. It’s definitely very calculated.”
Weidman elaborated on his opinion, referring to the odds involved in relation to the type of challenge Silva is likely to face come showtime in Rio de Janeiro.
“Him and his manager were very dead set on not fighting until 2013. They didn’t really give a reason, but they just wanted to wait until 2013. And I thought that was kind of a little fishy, that all of the sudden now they pick up a fight like it’s no big deal,” stated Weidman. “I just think I definitely am a big risk for him on paper. I’m a good wrestler with good jiu-jitsu…I don’t think he’s really seen anybody like me with the athleticism I have and my length and everything like that. I have a lot of tools he hasn’t seen before.”
“On paper, I’m a bad match-up for him,” he continued, stopping short of saying Silva may be ducking him. “I think Anderson would like a challenge… it’s just a tough challenge and I think his managers more than him are trying to keep him away from me. They want me to get more fights and they’re hoping probably I lose or something like that so I’m out of the picture. I don’t think they’re jumping up with joy to be fighting me anytime soon.”
Despite his disappointment, Weidman at least his something to focus his energy on in the form of a December 29 fight with Tim Boetsch at UFC 155. He is currently healing up from having his shoulder scoped.
Check out the full interview with Weidman below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC