UFC 162 is going to be bananas. That card is a winner from top to bottom, but the bout I'm looking forward to most is the main event. I've been a big fan of Anderson Silva for a long time, and have felt that he is the pound for pound champ for a few years now. Then along comes Chris Weidman, a kid with legitimate power, wrestling and jiu jitsu, all rolled up into a neat package. It's been a long time since we've seen someone that poses a real threat, and I'll be the first to admit, I'm on the Weidman War Wagon. I have been from the start.
A few years ago, when Chael Sonnen was preparing to fight Anderson in their first outing, not many were giving him a chance to get past the champ. Then, he comes in, guns loaded and ready, and beats the crap out of Anderson for 4.5 rounds of the fight. No matter the reason, rib injuries or not, that fight allowed us to see that Silva was still human and could be stopped. I think Chris Weidman will be the man to do it.
I recently conducted an interview with Matt Serra, where he spoke about Chris' willingness to take short notice fights, and in particular, his offer to step up to face Jon Jones when Dan Henderson suffered an injury that forced him out of their scheduled bout last summer. Serra's comments sparked my curiosity and I managed to get a really quick interview with Chris to discuss it, and a possible weight class change in the future. Here's what he had to say:
The Weight Cut From Hell (Demian Maia Fight)
That fight, I took it on 10 days notice. I wasn't in shape at all. Honestly, I owed a lot of money in taxes and I needed to pay them, so I thought it was a good idea to take the fight. I felt I could win, but I figured the big thing was gonna be my weight cut. I've been cutting weight my whole life, and no matter what, weight cuts suck, but this fight gave me a whole new respect for cutting weight. It was the hardest cut I've ever made. I came to the point where when I went into the sauna, and usually you lose a p1.5 - 2 pounds, yet I was gaining .2 pounds somehow.
I was gaining weight in there, and I wanted to quit so bad. I was still a pound and a half over at that point. I didn't know what the Heck was going on. I wanted to get it done, and my coaches were like, 'No, man, you're done', but I had to keep going. I was delirious and faintish. It was Hell.
When I got done, I pushed myself, and somehow found a way to win that fight. I didn't allow myself any excuses to lose that fight. I was going to win, no matter what. It was tough, that's for sure.
Confidence Personified (Jon Jones)
I'm the type of guy that loves big opportunities. I like when the cards are against me, and people think that I have no chance. I believe in myself, so when that fight came out that it was in jeopardy, I called my manager and asked if there was a possibility that I could get the fight because I think I could take it. He was like, 'Really?' and I was like, 'Yeah.' He said give me a couple days, and I told him I was ready to go.
So, he called Joe Silva, and he was like, 'Are you kidding me?' I think Joe liked the fact that I did that. So he said he wasn't going to tell Dana and them unless I called my coaches to make sure it was all 100%. I called Matt and told him that I wanted to this. They were all on board, so I called back my manager, and he tells Joe Silva, and he thought it was awesome, so he called Dana White, but then they ended up throwing the fight out, and then the whole card out. I was all ready to go [laughs]. I ran straight to the gym and started working out.
Possibility of Moving To Light Heavyweight
Yeah, who knows. I want to keep fighting at 185 and win the belt there first. If the fans and the UFC want me to go up, I could do that, but I make 185 pretty easy. I'm at 203 right now, which is actually pretty light for a lot of middleweights. I think I could definitely be a 205er, too. I'd just put muscle on and head on up. It's whatever the fans and UFC want, but right now, my focus is on middleweight and Anderson Silva. I'd never move down in weight, though. 185 is my limit.
Formula To Win
He (Silva) relaxes really well, even in tough times. You've got to know when to push it and when not to. The most relaxed, confident guy will win the fight.
*Personal thanks to Marivi Weidman for being awesome and facilitating this interview*
You can follow Chris via his Twitter account, @ChrisWeidmanUFC