A lot of people picked Chris Weidman to defeat Anderson Silva at UFC 162 on July 6, including several fighters, but no one predicted it would end the way it did.
Weidman did what he said he was going to do and took the fight to Silva. He pressured the former champion. Early in the second round, Weidman landed a left hand that ended Silva’s title reign and set up one of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history.
The two will do it again on Dec. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and it’s important to Weidman that he finishes Silva again to prove it was no fluke the first time.
“Very important. I want to go out there and shine. Obviously, there’s been a lot of doubters out there,” Weidman recently said during a UFC World Tour: Weidman vs. Silva 2 press stop in Brazil.
The success of his first title defense begins in the gym.
“The biggest thing for me is to train every single day. It doesn’t just start when I walk into that cage,” said Weidman. “Every day I’ve got to train as hard as I can, and just go out there and go as hard as I can. Any type of instincts I’m feeling at the time, I’ve got to go for it, otherwise I’m going to have regrets. And I’m going to be going for the finish the whole time. That’s just the way I fight.”
Weidman doesn’t plan to change his strategy for the rematch and believes he’ll be an improved fighter when he steps in the cage at UFC 168.
“Pretty much the same strategy. The only difference is, around this time before the last fight, I was nursing an injury and I wasn’t able to improve. Right now, I’m able to still workout and improve every day,” he said. “That’s really the only difference. As far as strategy, it’s kind of the same for every one of my fights; walk forward. It’s a chess game out there. If he thinks I’m doing one thing, I’m going to do the other.”
While the first fight was one-sided, Weidman is expecting a war in the rematch.
“He’s as good as everybody thinks he is. He’s known as the greatest of all time for a reason,” he said. “It’s no fluke. He’s a stud. I’m expecting a war in the next fight, and I’m hoping for a finish.”