Many fans believe that when Anderson Silva’s knockout loss to current UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman was the product of Silva’s propensity for clowning around in the Octagon, that he wasn’t able to lull Weidman into playing his game like all of his other opponents did. Those same fans probably expect Silva to come into his UFC 168 rematch with Weidman on December 28, 2013, with a different mindset, tightening up his game so to avoid the overconfidence that got him destroyed.
However, Weidman is not one of these believers. He recently appeared on MMA Junkie Radio to discuss his hopes that “The Spider” comes into the monumental rematch angry, because he’ll then have the longtime former champion right where he wants him:
"People say that he's going to get pissed off, and it's going to be this whole new Anderson Silva – it's going to be easier. I'm very happy with the situation, and it's exactly where I thought I was going to be, and it's time to prove myself again on (Dec.) 28, so I'm excited."
It’s hard to say which Silva will show up, and if there even is a different version of the confident, unorthodox, and fluid striker that we’ve seen mow down countless foes in the past. But Weidman doesn’t believe that Silva has another gear, and seems rather certain that the outcome will be similar to their first fight in July:
"He wouldn't be so good just putting his hands up and looking like a typical Thai boxer. You know what the guy is going to do more if he's doing that. He likes to come from different angles from his hands down. Trust me, he's not coming in like you think he's going to be coming in."
"That's why it makes for a perfect rematch, because so many people just can't believe [Silva] really lost, and he was trying. They figure that's how he fights in every one of his fights, and it works in every one. I was just able to capitalize on it. People just can't believe – that he could lose two fights in a row."
That could be a very real possibility at the MGM Grand Garden Arena come December, or we could see Silva’s loss to Weidman as a temporary aberration should he regain the belt. Either way, Weidman seems supremely confident in his overall game, perhaps even more so than he was prior to UFC 162. That’s saying a lot, because “The All American” had a huge amount of interviews where he claimed he would be the next champ with an air of certainty that we'd never seen from one of Silva's opponents.
Turns out his doubters were the crazy ones for thinking he couldn’t win. Who is your pick to win arguably the biggest rematch in UFC history?
Outer Photo: Jayne Kamin Oncea of USA Today Sports