Healing from a multitude of injuries since his unanimous decision win over Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in the main event of July 5’s UFC 175, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has shifted his focus to the next challenge on his list.
Weidman will face controversial No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort in the main event of December 6’s UFC 181 after “The Phenom” was granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) despite the fact that he failed a drug test for elevated testosterone levels in February.
The champion knows the risks associated with facing Belfort, which could include a failed test at any time from “The Phenom,” who has to undergo extra testing for the NSAC.
Speaking in a recent interview with Sherdog.com, Weidman said that while he believes that scenario is possible, he just wants to fight Belfort if he’s on something or not:
“Do I think that he’s going to do something sneaky? I wouldn’t be surprised, because he’s gotten caught cheating now twice. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does something stupid again. My biggest concern is that he gets caught again. Even if he’s taking something, I don’t care. Just don’t get caught doing it, because I want to fight him whether he’s on something or not. That’s the fight that I want, and he’s the guy that I want to beat up.”
Always calm and confident, Weidman not only believes he can beat Belfort, but finish him wherever the fight goes, and that includes standing up:
“I think that I’m a versatile individual, and I pretty much feel like I can do anything that I want to do in there. I can stand and bang and knock him out, or I feel as if I can take him down and submit him. Nothing’s going to come easily, and I always expect some resistance, but if someone had yelled out and told me that this is what I had to do, I am getting the job done, whether they told me to submit him or knock him out. I’m going to get it done.”
Bold words from a matter-of-fact champion who always seems to get the job done.
The undefeated Weidman has done everything he’s told us he would, defeating Anderson Silva twice and then legitimizing his reign by defeating Machida.
Still, questions remain about the champ’s run, although they probably shouldn’t.
Will he add to his legacy by knocking out the legendary Belfort, or do you think “The Phenom” will be the one to finally hand Weidman his first defeat?
Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie for USA TODAY Sports