UFC middleweight Chris Weidman called for a crack at champion Anderson Silva on multiple occasions last year and was rebuffed each time with the Brazilian’s camp claiming he wasn’t established enough to merit a main event match-up with “The Spider”. Based on Silva’s adamance on the matter, the involved parties moved on – Weidman was booked against Tim Boetsch and Silva was pointed towards a likely pairing with Michael Bisping. However, in an interesting twist of fate, Weidman was forced out of his bout with Boetsch due to injury (who then went on to lose against replacement Costa Philippou) and Bisping was knocked out by Vitor Belfort, again creating a situation where Weidman became the frontrunner for a fight with Silva.
This time around, a deal was ironed out and the two are set to square off in headlining action at UFC 162. The road to the rumble has been a long and winding one, but, according to Weidman, also an indication that a higher power is at work when it comes to being presented with an opportunity to beat MMA’s pound-for-pound king.
“I believe this is meant to be,” said the 9-0 Weidman in an interview with MMAFighting. “It’s not meant to be that I get there to lose. I’d be disgusted with myself if that happens. I refuse to let myself be beat. After all this, I believe I’m meant to win.”
“I’m very motivated to make the most of this opportunity and not just be another title-contender,” he continued. “Every other time I’ve had a full training camp, I’ve had a finish. And I plan on continuing that. I’m going against the greatest of all-time, but that’s not going to change my confidence of what I’m going to do in there.”
Weidman has finished three of the five opponents he’s beaten inside the Octagon with two wins coming in the first round. In total he’s earned six stoppages with an even split between TKOs/submissions.
Of course, putting Silva away is easier said than done given the superstar’s 16-0 mark under the UFC’s banner. He has been tapped out twice in his career with the most recent example coming more than eight years ago.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC