UFC middleweight champion reflects on his latest win and his future.
Chris Weidman said he knows he is a better fighter than Anderson Silva, after the middleweight king of the UFC took down the all-time great for the second time in a year.
While the first victory shocked the mixed martial arts world, it left critics of Weidman’s to label the victory as lucky, with Silva’s bizarre tactics of feigning injury and urging his opponent on, taking the gloss of Weidman’s performance.
However, Weidman’s TKO win in the main event at UFC 168 has left the rising American star with no doubt he deserves to be wearing the gold.
While the second bout was also overshadowed by its finish, with Silva breaking two bones in his leg when Weidman checked a leg kick, Weidman dominated the first round, as he moved his pro record to 11-0.
“I don’t like that his leg got broken,” Weidman said.
“It’s bittersweet on that, but I felt I was completely dominating the fight. If anything, him breaking his leg stopped me from putting on more of a show.”
Such was the sudden and strange end to the fight, many fans and journalist speculated after the fight that Silva had carried an injury into the bout, or hurt his leg in the first round.
However, Weidman said it was none of those.
“I’m going to say something happened that moment,” Weidman said. “If he had fractured his leg before the fight, there’s no way he’s throwing kicks like that. I checked the first kick good, which I’m sure hurt him, but I think he wanted to test his leg out again, hoping I didn’t check it.
“It landed flush, right on my knee on the lower end of his shin. Those are both a no-no. Usually, if you kick, you want to kick with the upper part of your shin.”
The future for Silva remains unclear, despite asking surgeons when he will be able to train again with initial estimates being nine months, with a year being the likely time-frame which mixed martial arts fans being able to see ‘The Spider’ back in the Octagon.
However, by then he will be close to 40, and Weidman doubts the future hall-of-famer will be the same again.
“It’s a tough injury to come back from,” Weidman said.
“I honestly would feel bad to fight him again. I know he’s going to be a little hesitant to kick me. He has to worry about getting knocked out. I’ve dropped him twice, knocked him out once. And I don’t know if it’d even be a fair fight to take.
“There has to be a lot going through his head. Got a leg broken, got knocked out, got dropped. I don’t know where he is mentally, but fighting is 90% mental.”
The UFC is planning for Weidman to next fight former UFC 12 champion Vitor Belfort in either May or July in Las Vegas.
“Explosive, strong, experienced, confident guy coming off three knockouts, but it’s a great matchup for me,” Weidman said.