On July 6th, top-ranked UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman will return from a year-long layoff to challenge Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the greatest mixed martial artist who’s ever lived. It goes without saying that the UFC 162 main event is the greatest test of Weidman’s career — and one that would make most middleweights more than a little nervous — but the Long Island-bred “All-American” isn’t the least bit intimidated. And he knows exactly how he’s going to steal the belt that Anderson’s held for six-and-a-half years.
CagePotato reporter Brian J. D’Souza caught up with Weidman recently at Grants MMA Gym in Toronto, and got his take on a number of interesting subjects, including his gameplan for the Spider, the rib injury that spurred his foray into MMA, his surprising contract status with the UFC, and more. Some highlights:
Why he hasn’t signed a new contract with the UFC yet: “I’m not looking to negotiate an extra couple grand right before a title fight. My goal is to be champion, and I know that’s where you get the real money. That’s where you get the ‘Anderson Silva money,’ so that’s what I’m looking to get.”
How he’ll beat Silva: “I think the biggest thing is once you get him down, to stay relaxed and not to be so tense. I think I have a pretty smooth, aggressive game, and I’m pretty relentless with my cardio, and that’s one of my things that I have most pride in. So, I feel like I’m going to have the cardio to where he’s going to break before I break. I’m going to be all over him.”
Anderson’s mind games: “One of Anderson’s Silva’s best traits in MMA is that he gets inside people’s heads. Before they even step in the cage, he has a certain mystique about him that intimidates people. He earned that over the years. But even when they get in the cage with him, he makes sure to make them feel as if he’s on a whole ‘nother level. And then he waits for them to believe him in that, and he freakin’ mentally and physically breaks them…I’m just going to be confident. I’m not going to be worried about what he’s doing, I’m worried about what I’m doing.”