Chris Weidman is confident that he will be the man to finally dethrone quite possibly the greatest fighter in MMA history.
Anderson Silva has left the middleweight division in ruins. Despite the existence of world-class talent, there really aren't any marquee names left in the title picture that Silva hasn't already had his way with.
Weidman is the new kid on the block boasting an undefeated record and a pair of wins over upper-echelon opposition. There is no questioning his talent or potential as a worthy adversary for the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
For Weidman, the problem is name recognition.
Silva often jokes about fighting several more years, but in reality, his career is slowly winding down. He isn't competing as often as he used to, and his preference of opponent is getting pickier and pickier.
Weidman understands why Silva is hesitant to take the fight. He believes he is a difficult matchup on paper for the champ. It wouldn't behoove a future Hall of Famer like Silva to jump at the opportunity to fight a young and hungry up-and-comer.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, Weidman talked about the journey of securing an ever-elusive middleweight title shot.
It's a business, and I understand what they're doing. So, I don't take it personal. It's just that I put a lot of work in, and my goal is to be champion, and I know I can beat Anderson Silva, and I did enough work to get that fight.
I know I'm a terrible, terrible match-up for him. If I get my hands on Anderson Silva, I'm saying it's game over.
Weidman could be the next middleweight to get that chance. Silva is expected to take extended time off to heal up from nagging injuries. He is slated for a late 2013 return.
As for Weidman, he'll be pulling for Vitor Belfort over Michael Bisping on January 19 at UFC on FX 7. UFC President Dana White has already gone on record that Bisping would likely be named the No. 1 contender for the middleweight title if he were to defeat Belfort.
Weidman is currently nursing a shoulder injury, and he hopes to be back in action soon. When he returns, he plans on earning a UFC title shot and finishing what Chael Sonnen started.
If I get on top of him, like Chael Sonnen was on top of him, I really believe in myself. I really think I'm going to finish the fight. I wouldn't do it like Chael Sonnen. Chael Sonnen did a great job in both of his fights. He took [Silva] down both fights, but I just think he exerts too much nervous energy.
...I think I have the tools to beat him. I'm younger, and if I'm not bigger than him, we're about the same size. I have a longer reach. I know I have better wrestling, and I know I have better Jiu-Jitsu. His standup is unbelievable, but I think I have the reaction times and the understanding of standup to where I'm not just going to get knocked out from out of nowhere.