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Chris Weidman: “He’d be a fool not to respect me as a fighter.”

Chris Weidman: “He’d be a fool not to respect me as a fighter.”

UFC middleweight title-contender Chris Weidman (9-0) has a quarter of the total fights champion Anderson Silva (33-4) does and a third of the Brazilian’s in-Octagon experience. However, that doesn’t mean Weidman will enter their main event match-up at UFC 162 as some fresh-faced geek off the street.

Weidman has looked impressive in his young career and is also carrying a ton of confidence with him entering the July 6 scrap based on how his skills compare to Silva’s.

“He’d be a fool not to respect me as a fighter,” said Weidman in a recent interview with the UFC.

“He’s a great champion for a reason but he knows I’m gonna be a bad match-up and I’m gonna be a tougher opponent than some people might understand,” he continued. “I’m a pressure based fighter. I’m gonna be walking forward. I’m gonna be using my length, mixing it up between my takedowns and my punches. I’m not gonna be going backwards too much.”

Silva has occasionally struggled with fending off aggressive grapplers like Weidman, an All-American wrestler at Hofstra University. Then again, with a 16-0 mark in the UFC, Silva certainly has more than one avenue to victory in any affair.

The complete interview with Weidman can be found below: