UFC middleweight Chris Weidman was eying champion Anderson Silva before he ever stepped foot inside a cage, believing his blend of well-rounded offense and a wrestling background would be enough to beat the brilliant Brazilian. Now, with a showdown against Silva finally inked for the immediate future, Weidman is getting closer and closer to his long awaited date with “The Spider”. However, that doesn’t mean the match-up feels any more real to Weidman than it did four years ago.
In fact, when Silva was rumored to be out of UFC 162 with a rib injury, Weidman worked on avoiding people and media for a bit as a means of not obsessing on the fight having potentially fallen apart.
“I was like, ‘Don’t tell me this, don’t tell me this.’ I’m freaking out. I’m like, ‘I need to go home and take a nap. I need to go exit the world for a little bit,’” admitted Weidman in a recent interview with The MMA Hour. “Honestly, I needed to go home and take a nap because I was going to start freaking out. It was just too much. Overload. I was freaking out. And then we ended up finding out it wasn’t true, knock on wood.”
Though Silva is by all accounts good to go for their July 6 scrap, Weidman won’t believe the bout is real until Bruce Buffer is busy announcing their names inside the Octagon.
“There’s something that scares me with that, yeah. The thing is, it’s been a long road. After I fought Mark Munoz, I called (Silva) out. We were supposed to fight and it ended up not happening a couple times. So I still have that mindset,” explained Weidman. “But I’m training for the fight. I believe it’s going to happen. But there’s something inside me that’s a little bit like, ‘I just really want this fight to happen.’ I just want to be in that cage with him. I just want to get to July 6. I want to get to the weigh-ins. I want to look at him. I want to see him physically there and I’ll be a happy man.”
Weidman is 9-0 but hasn’t fought since last July due to an unfortunate series of injuries. Comparably, the 33-4 Silva hasn’t defended his title in an equally long time but picked up a dominant win over Stephan Bonnar on late notice last October.