In his own inimitable way, Chris Weidman has overtly slagged off and taunted both Anderson Silva and his co-manager Jorge Guimaraes. Succinctly put, “The All-American” has seriously upped the ante—for the 28-year-old native New Yorker, it’s all or nothing, no compromise.
In the rhetoric department, Weidman is no Chael Sonnen—there’s really no comparison, but the way he’s being calling out Silva at every PR-given moment, you’d think otherwise.
Initially, Weidman set the wheels in motion by insinuating he could finish Silva, before adding that he was most deserved of the No. 1 slot.
Guimaraes responded with a hit way below the belt—referring to Weidman, Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher as "amateur kids" who were just out for fame and glory.
He further suggested that the only viable opponent for Silva from a financial standpoint was 170-pound champ Georges St-Pierre.
On hearing the slight, Weidman went verbally gung-ho. Via MMAWeekly.com:
I read them and it’s kind of crazy. The managers they have no right to start putting down professional athletes. He put me, and (Alan) Belcher and (Tim) Boetsch down and he’s trying to draw attention away from the fact that I’m the No. 1 contender, and then called us amateurs, and we’re all top-10 fighters.
This is what we do for a living and then you have some manager in Brazil who’s calling us amateur fighters and calls me a joke, it’s definitely a little crazy and I know I wouldn’t want my manager speaking about other fighters like that,” Weidman told MMAWeekly.com.
Weidman also believes there are outside forces at work determined to nix a potential showdown with MMA’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
That said, the two-time All-American broke down the list of so-called contenders and/or combatants that team Silva would rather have the Brazilian fight, while again staking his claim as the No. 1 contender.
It’s like they’re trying to avoid my name being mentioned at all for the title shot. They’re trying to deflect with other guys' names so people can start thinking about them as possibilities, but even guys they’re choosing to call out, like GSP or (Nick) Diaz, they’re both welterweights.
I mean GSP, let’s start with him. The guy is coming off ACL surgery, we don’t even know for sure when he’s fighting, and when he does fight he’s fighting Carlos Condit for the welterweight title. You never know what’s going to happen, and best-case scenario he could fight again around May. So if anything, fight me next, if you beat me then you get your shot with GSP. You’re just calling out a 170-pounder coming off ACL surgery.
Then Nick Diaz, he’s another guy he’d have a size advantage over, he’s another good name, but the guy’s not going to be cleared till February. That’s just crazy. Nothing to say about me, who has proven to be the No. 1 contender. I beat two top-five guys in the division in a row, and no one’s come close to doing that, especially in the fashion I did in my last fight against Mark Munoz.
Weidman took another swipe at Silva regarding his realistic chances of locking horns with the aforesaid duo as well as Strikeforce 185-pound titlist Luke Rockhold, who was also brought into the title mix.
The guy’s a champion of 185, he should be fighting the contenders. You don’t call out guys that aren’t going to be able to fight forever and guys that are lighter than you.
Why don’t you call out Jon Jones? That makes sense, I’m sure a lot of people would watch, I’d love to watch too. If you’re not going to fight him, fight me, I’m ready to go.
With regards to his pay-per-view clout, an area team Silva sees as a stumbling block, Weidman is confident UFC President Dana White has enough promotional savvy to get the projected matchup off the ground.
"Dana White’s the best promoter in the world and I have full confidence that he’d be able to promote the fight just fine,” said Weidman. “I’m undefeated, every time I’ve had a full camp I’ve finished my opponent. You’ve got Anderson Silva, the No. 1 guy in the UFC right now, and just him alone is fine, and it just makes no sense what he’s saying. The manager’s not showing enough faith in the UFC and Dana White in the way they can promote the fight."
Weidman freely admitted he has the utmost respect for his counterpart and firmly believes if it was up to Silva, the fight would go ahead. As has been somewhat customary with Silva, he has yet to say anything on the matter, instead leaving everything in the hands of his management team.
I have nothing but respect for Anderson Silva, and I would expect him to want to fight the best guy and the guy who’s going to give him the toughest challenge. If it was up to him, I think he would want to fight me because I am the toughest challenge. But his managers, I feel like they are trying to keep me away from it and try to make me irrelevant enough in the title picture with Anderson Silva,” Weidman said.
"When you talk to Ed Soares and the other guy, it’s as though I’m not in the picture at all."
Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) may be convinced of his entitlement as top contender to Silva’s belt, but he’s under no illusions—anything can happen in MMA.
If for some reason he doesn’t get an instantaneous shot, he’s still intent on moving full steam ahead against whomever the UFC puts in his path.
Nevertheless, he still reiterated his current credentials as proof of his No. 1 status.
If the UFC tells me tomorrow that I’m fighting someone else, I have no problem. I fight for the UFC, whatever they tell me to do, I’m going to do. My goal is to be the champion and I feel like I’m in a position where I have the chance to become the champion, it’s me trying to chase my goal.
If the UFC tells me 20 minutes from now that the Anderson Silva fight isn’t going to happen, and I need to fight someone else, I might be upset for a couple of minutes, but I’ll move on. I just feel like I’m the No. 1 contender right now and I feel like the champion should fight the No. 1 contender.
I feel like I’ve made it blatantly obvious with this last fight that I’m ahead of the pack. The champ should want to fight that guy.
If Weidman wanted that publicity, well, he’s got it. If he wants the next shot at Silva’s crown, well, he’s heading in the right direction.
The word on the MMA circuit is he’s not marketable enough, but that may soon change. Also, there’s the small matter of Mark Munoz—some believe he defeated an overrated and underachieving fighter in “The Filipino Wrecking Machine.”
Thus far, only one other fighter has ever been a thorn in the Brazilian’s side, and look what happened to him.
Weidman believes he’s earned his stripes, and as such, he’s determined to get first refusal on Silva.
Furthermore, he seems to have immense self-belief in himself and is utterly convinced he will end the 15-fight winning streak of “The Spider” and in the process capture UFC gold.