Anderson Silva: Facing Chris Weidman is Just “Another Fight”, GSP “Had His Chance” to Call for Super Fight
By Kelsey Mowatt
When the year began, it wasn’t clear who Anderson Silva would defend his title against next, as the superstar was coming off another victory over Chael Sonnen. Due to previous and fairly recent wins over contenders Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, there certainly wasn’t consensus on who Silva should fight. Chris Weidman had earned a spot in the title shot discussion, by running through Mark Munoz last July, but the rising middleweight didn’t have the pay-per-view drawing power of other possibilities like Michael Bisping.
Of course, thanks to a head kick from Belfort, which violently took Bisping out of the mix in January, the promotion ultimately booked Silva to take on Weidman this Saturday. It may not have been the fight Silva’s camp was eyeing six, seven months ago, but here it is nonetheless.
“Nothing’s changed,” the renowned champion said through a translator during a recent media call, while discussing whether his mindset has changed over the past few months, regarding the bout. “A fight’s a fight, and this is another fight.”
It’s been interesting to see how the pre-fight narrative has shifted heading into the July 6th bout, as despite the fact Weidman isn’t one of the promotion’s biggest names yet, many observers believe he poses a considerable threat to Silva. Weidman is a former NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler, who’s earned a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and has improved his striking considerably. The 29 year-old fighter has the type of skill set, which in theory, should push the consensus best pound-for-pound fighter.
“Every fight is a new challenge,” said Silva, when asked if Weidman might be the biggest threat his reign has faced to date. “It’s really going to be up to whoever is better prepared and whoever feels better that night…A loss and a win are always walking side-by-side, so that doesn’t really matter because I’ve been doing this since I was eight years old, and there’s always new challenges and there’s always new things.”
“My biggest concern is going out there and doing better for myself,” added Silva, who has won 17 straight bouts, 16 of which have been with the UFC. “I’m not concerned what my opponents do, I want to better myself, and I want to over come anything that I have to.”
Due to Weidman’s abilities, several high profile fighters have relayed publicly that they believe the middleweight will either defeat Silva outright, or that he has the tools to make a substantive challenge. Most notably, Georges St. Pierre and Frankie Edgar have said they’re picking Weidman to win. It should be noted, of course, that both men have trained with the New York fighter.
When asked for his thoughts on having men like GSP predict his historic run will come to an end at UFC 162, Silva stated:
“Imagine if I were to start listening to everything people say,” the Brazilian fighter noted. “St. Pierre had his chance to pronounce himself about fighting me and he didn’t do it, so that’s what he chose to say and that’s fine. I’m not paying attention to whatever everyone else is saying.”
UFC 162 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and the main card will be available via PPV.