Perhaps it is because of the support he is receiving from his fellow mixed martial artists, but UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman is as confident as he has ever been in his career leading up to the UFC 162 title fight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Multiple fighters have backed Weidman and picked him to be the man to take down Silva, and Weidman believes more than anyone that he is the right man for the job.
“I think what just got people going is my confidence,” Weidman said in a recent interview with Bleacher Report. “I’m not going to take that back, because I truly am confident. There should be no reason that I’m fighting if I wasn’t confident. I have a lot of respect for Anderson Silva, but I’m confident I can beat him—and I think that’s what gets people all up in arms, because they can’t believe that I would have the disrespect to think that I could beat Anderson Silva. I earned this opportunity and I’m going to go in there and make the best of it.”
Weidman says that he is going in to the fight carrying the weight of his entire family on his shoulders, so he wants nothing more than to bring home the gold to make everyone around him proud.
“I think a lot of these guys show too much respect and fear and just kind of wanted to see how they would do against Anderson. This is everything for me. This is a life changer. This is life changing for my family and I’m not going in there to play games or to give him too much respect,” Weidman added. “I’d be taking away from myself and my family. I’m not going to go in there and letting them down.”
If there is one strength of Weidman’s that is being understated, it is his mental strength.
We all know that Weidman has the power and wrestling to be a difficult out for the champion, but Weidman truly believes that he has what it takes to defeat Anderson Silva and he has been preparing for this moment since he got in to the sport.
“It hasn’t just been a year I’ve been mentally prepared for this fight. It’s been since the day I decided to do MMA, I began to mentally prepare for this matchup,” Weidman said. “Because Anderson Silva was the champion in my weight class, and when I got into this the only reason I was going to do it was to be champion, to be the best. From that day I’ve had to condition myself for fighting Anderson Silva and beating Anderson Silva.”
Will Weidman take down Silva? That we won’t know for sure until Fourth of July weekend, but what we do know is that the champion is in for one of the toughest tests of his career and he is facing a very hungry challenger.
This is going to be must-see television.