When Chris Weidman last stepped into the Octagon in January to face Demian Maia at UFC on Fox 2 he wasn’t nearly himself.
The New York native took the bout on extremely short notice and his biggest battle that weekend wasn’t against Maia or his world class Jiu-Jitsu skills. No, Weidman’s real fight was making weight just to get into the fight that Saturday night in Chicago.
To hear him tell it, Weidman says he performed at about 10-percent of his abilities, but the amazing part is he still won a unanimous decision over the former middleweight title contender.
So how good could Chris Weidman be when he has a full training camp to prepare for an opponent?
Well, everyone will find out when he gets a five round main event bout this Wednesday night against fellow top ten middleweight Mark Munoz.
Despite the fact that Weidman is undefeated as a pro fighter while sporting a perfect 4-0 record inside the Octagon, his name is rarely mentioned as a title contender to next face champion Anderson Silva.
Is it because Weidman isn’t good enough or doesn’t have the credentials? That’s very likely not the case. Or is it simply because he’s not shouting to the heavens that he deserves it?
“I see all these guys saying they think they deserve it and a lot of people think I deserve it too, and I think I kind of do too, but I’m not going to go out there and start strongly suggesting it because I’ve got a big fight with Mark Munoz and I’m in this fight to make a statement between me and him and that cage,” Weidman told MMAWeekly Radio prior to the fight.
“Once I make that statement that I feel like I’m ahead of the pack, if I’m able to make that statement then I think my performance will speak for itself. Then at that time I’ll come out and say I want Anderson Silva.”
Strangely enough, Weidman trains under former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra who could be described as one of the most vocal fighters in the history of the promotion. But when it comes to the former two time All-American wrestler, Serra’s been teaching him plenty of things to do inside the cage, but Weidman is his own man outside of it.
He’s more than confident that he can go toe to toe with anybody at middleweight, including champion Anderson Silva, but he wants to fight and prove that so no one can question it when he finally does get his shot.
“I’m very confident in myself and feel like I can be a world champion and I can beat all these top guys. This is my chance to prove it. I have no excuses not to win this fight, it’s all on me if I lose,” Weidman said.
As he steps into his first ever main event in the UFC, Weidman is taking on a very experienced veteran in Mark Munoz, who is also at the top of the list of potential title challengers.
A former NCAA champion wrestler himself, Munoz is as tough as they are built at 185lbs in the UFC, and that’s the exact kind of challenges Weidman wants.
Bring him the toughest, meanest, most battled tested veterans with all the confidence in the world. It will mean that much more when he gets to crush them.
“I want to go in there against another confident guy who really thinks they’re going to be able to beat me,” Weidman said.
“It’s going to drive me to try to break them.”
If he can break Mark Munoz on Wednesday night it’s going to be hard to deny Weidman has certainly earned his spot in the conversation for the top contender in the middleweight division.
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