Chris Weidman (9-0) campaigned long and hard for a UFC middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva (33-4). The New York native has been ultra-impressive since entering mixed martial arts only four years ago. His ever evolving striking and proven high-level grappling has led some fans to see him as the biggest threat to the Brazilian’s throne in years. But the fact remains Silva has had more successful UFC title defenses than the 28-year-old has professional fights. Weidman’s wish will come true on July 6 in Las Vegas, when he meets the pound-for-pound king in the main event of UFC 162. And as he made clear at a Q&A before the UFC 159 weigh-ins this week, he’s confident’s he’s the man to beat “The Spider.”
"When I started MMA about four years ago, (Silva) was the champion at 185. When I made the decision to go to 185, I had to believe I could beat the champion of the world or there’s no reason for me to do this. So from the get-go, no matter who I was fighting coming out of Ring of Combat at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, I wasn’t only training to beat those guys who I was paired up against, I was training already at that point to beat Anderson Silva and become the best in the world. Now I’ve finally earned the opportunity to get that and I’m not going to let it slip through my fingers ... I think I’ve got my dream match-up right here on July 6. I really think I do. I think the best thing Anderson Silva does is mentally destroy people before they even get in the cage with him. Once you get in the cage with him, he does a great job of making you feel like you do not belong in this cage with me. You’re terrible, I’m the man, you’re going to find a way out of out of this fight. I think the biggest thing is just – I’m very confident. I know my skillset, I’ve seen what Chael Sonnen has done to him, I’ve seen his weaknesses and I think I can expose them again and look for a finish or a good performance. You’ve just got to be confident. And you can say anything you want before the fight, but it’s all about when you touch those gloves, do you still have the confidence and I’m going to make sure I do. It’s all mental. On paper I'm a nightmare matchup for Anderson. You know, on paper you can't deny it. I definitely have better wrestling and I definitely believe I have proven I have better jiu-jtsu. I think I have the cardio, the athleticism, I think there's a lot of stuff that's siding with me on this fight."