UFC middleweight Chris Weidman is getting the biggest opportunity of his career on July 6th - a UFC 162 bout with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The title contender discussed the whole process with MMA Fighting - coming back from elbow surgery and the devastation of Hurrcane Sandy; finding out about the fight just before he was sent out to lobby for MMA in New York; and how he feels he can win the bout. He starts off by discussing the chain of events (his injury, Tim Boetsch and Michael Bisping losing) that led to the decision:
"Without a doubt, it feels like fate," Weidman told MMA Fighting. "When I got injured, I was down, but I did feel like something better was going to happen out of this. I thought I was going to get an even bigger fight than the Boetsch fight. I didn't have my hopes up too much that it would be Anderson, but I knew there was a chance it could be. Everybody who could have had a shot lost. Things went my way. I'm grateful and humble for the opportunity."
According to the article, Silva agreed to the bout when he sat down for a meeting with Lorenzo Fertitta on Tuesday night. Fertitta gave Weidman the good news in the hallway of a radio station where both men were doing interviews:
"I said, 'Really?'" Weidman said. "I said, 'I love you, man. That's freaking awesome.' I wasn’t getting my hopes up for the fight even though Dana [White] said publicly that it will happen. I just didn't want to get my hopes up for no reason. I didn't want to believe it until it was announced."
He says he's not going into this just to be happy for an opportunity. He most definitely believes he can win:
"I'm very motivated to make the most of this opportunity and not just be another title contender," he said. "Every other time I've had a full training camp, I've had a finish. And I plan on continuing that. I'm going against the greatest of all-time, but that's not going to change my confidence of what I'm going to do in there. I'm very excited."
"I believe this is meant to be," he said. "It's not meant to be that I get there to lose. I'd be disgusted with myself if that happens. I refuse to let myself be beat. After all this, I believe I'm meant to win."