As Ariel Helwani prefaced his interview (today) with the new UFC middleweight Champion of the world Chris Weidman, he said “it’s an unbelievable story.”
4 short years ago Chris Weidman got into MMA and because he thought he could be champion and he did it based off the belief that he could beat the then reigning champion, Anderson Silva. 2 years later, while living in his parents basement along with his wife and child, he was in the UFC and 2 years after that, he defeated the very man that had inspired him to enter MMA. That is a remarkable story.
In terms of the win that has placed him a-top of the 185 pound heap and the questions which have swirled, as to whether or not Silva threw the fight or wanted to dump the belt, “The All-American” stated:
"I’m not here to change other people’s opinions, but I’ll tell you one thing, he did not give me the belt, he did not throw the fight…he was doing exactly what he does in all his fights. He had his hands down. He was trying to mentally defeat me, make me freeze, make me feel like I didn’t deserve to be in the ring with him.”
Weidman said that Silva changed tactics in the 2nd and probably because he felt his (Chris’s) power on the ground. The All-American feels that he could have kept him there, but gave up the top-position in favor of going for the leg-lock. The champ said he did so, because he likes to “go for things” and he wants his fights to be “exciting”.
Chris said the (former) champ taunted him at round’s break, telling him “don’t wrestle, don’t make it a wrestle, they want to see a stand-up fight.”
As the 2nd started Weidman said:
"I felt in control. He was doing all that stuff, but in my mind, I'm just laughing. I’m like…Bro, I’m winning the fight. I’m punching you right now and you're standing there with your hands on your hips. You can do that all day if you want…It got to the point where I figured, I’m going to get in this guy's face…you’re not doing this to me pal and I went in for the kill.”
Of Silva’s style and plan, Chris remarked:
“He wanted me to freeze He’s a counter-puncher. He’s not that good when he’s getting off first. He’s more of a guy who needs you to get off first. So, he needs you to start swinging at him, but you’ve got to do it intelligently.”
The All-American said the (former) champ never hurt him and he thought “Holy crap, this is happening” when Silva went down.
Of a re-match Weidman is “confident” that it will happen and that he can beat Silva again and differently. He believes the fight is apt to take place in February (Super Bowl weekend) and in New Jersey.
Chris also believes that of all the fighters in the division, that Vitor Belfort “deserves it more” than Bisping or anyone else (we will assume).
If you watch the video, catch Matt Serra being brought on the line to say “Yo, the new Champ! The new Champ!”
Good for Chris on the win. It was earned and he’s a heck of a nice guy.