December 28th that is a date that is more than likely burned into the minds of every UFC fan.
On that date Chris Weidman will take to the Octagon to make his first title defense and he will do it against the very man he took the belt from at UFC 162; Anderson Silva.
Since that fateful night in July, when Chris shocked the world by knocking out the legendary champion, “The All-American” has been hounded and harangued by questions regarding his victory and whether or not Silva had handed him the win, by way of his “clowning” in the ring.
Further still, there are those that feel Silva had simply grown tired of being the champ and as such, failed to example one his normal outings. Subsequent to that, he was easily swept aside by the younger, hungrier Weidman.
By the purveyors of such questions Weidman is not bothered and more to the point expected their doubt, all along. To that end, Chris knew from the outset that he wanted a re-match and that many fans would be calling for it.
In defense of Silva’s actions in the ring that night, Weidman doesn’t understand what (his) fans are complaining about. To the champ, that’s simply what Silva does and how he’s always fought and he shouldn’t be ridiculed for it.
To the question of Silva being tired, Chris doesn’t put much stock in what “The Spider” says and sees most of it as ploy. As Weidman remarked:
“There’s a lot of things that Anderson says in interviews where he’s like, I don’t take what he says in interviews for full worth; I’m not reading into anything. I think that’s why a lot of guys he’s fought in the past some of them might have lost, because he tries to get in their heads psychologically before the fight even starts; even in interviews.”
On that point, there would be many fans that would agree with Weidman and as such, believe Silva to be a master of gamesmanship and psychological war fare, both in and out of the ring. To that end, a good number of fans believe that Anderson’s comments about being tired of the belt should be taken with a grain of salt.
On the question of a loss to Silva and a trilogy bout between the two, Weidman is having none of it. Where he knew he wanted and would have to re-match with Silva the first time, Chris is now looking to put the former champion in his rear-view mirror, come the end of the year. As the All-American put it, “I’m not even thinking like that. I’m winning this next fight. There’s not going to be a re-match. That’s it.”
As far as a game plane for accomplishing the task, it seems to be the same as that which won him the title, which is to have no regrets.
As Chis commented:
“If I feel something I’m going for it. Just like in the first fight, I was on top, it would have been easy, I could have kept position, but I felt the submission and I went for it. It was a risky submission, but if I didn’t go for that I could have been looking back and thinking …Damn, if I’d went for that I could have submitted him.”
Chris also believes that this time through Silva will show some deference to his (Weidman’s) hands, which is something he feels Silva was unconcerned about in their first fight.
As the champ stated, “He knows now he has to respect my hands. He paid the ultimate price for it, with his consciousness. Isn’t that what Joe Rogan said?”
In terms of what’s past Silva, Weidman mentioned Belfort and Souza, and said that he was open to fighting Jon Jones or anyone; “Whatever the UFC & the fans want…I want the biggest challenges”, as he put it.
As fans mark of the days and in hope that both fighters bring their best games, we will also hope that the fight carries forward the war that was Jones / Gustafsson. If we could be treated to another one of those barn burners, then it would be an awesome late Christmas present for the fans.