Weidman's second-round knockout of Silva was deemed a fluke, so the Serra-Longo product accepted an immediate rematch and finished 'The Spider' again in the same round -- this time with a checked kick that left Silva agonizing in pain with a broken leg.
Weidman went on to defend the middleweight title another two times before his thirteen-fight win streak was ended by former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold.
After losing the belt to Rockhold, Weidman suffered a devastating KO loss to Yoel Romero, and the 32-year-old finds himself doubted once again.
Question marks loom over Weidman's future as a top-ranked middleweight, and the NCAA Division I wrestling standout can't wait to prove the critics wrong at UFC 210, where he will face the No. 5 ranked Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event.
“As much as you don’t want to pay attention you know what people are thinking,” Weidman told Damon Martin of FOX Sports in a recent interview. “I love being motivated by doubters. There’s definitely a lot of doubters right now who think I’m done and I’m far from done. It excites me and helps me push during every one of those workouts. Not only to become the best I can be everybody but on top to prove some people wrong, it’s an awesome spot to be in. It’s a great time.”
Mousasi, 31, is a multiple-promotion champion and is currently riding a four-fight win streak. The Iranian-born talent captured titles in Strikeforce, DREAM and Cage Warriors.
Weidman knows just how important this matchup is and says he wants nothing more than to retake the middleweight throne and prove that he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
“This is everything. This is everything for me,” Weidman said. “This is my path back to the top or it isn’t. I need to do everything I can possible in training camp. No box is unchecked. Just do everything I possibly can. When I do that, there’s nobody who can beat me.
“I feel so good in this camp. I haven’t felt this good in a while and I’m just hoping that translates to a dominant win. I know it will. He’s a dangerous guy, he’s experienced but I don’t think he has anything for me. I think I’m going to be too much for him.”
UFC 210, which features Weidman vs. Mousasi in the co-main event, takes place this Saturday, April 8 at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.