Upcoming middleweight title challenger Chris Weidman has been nothing but confident heading into his UFC 162 showdown with Anderson Silva, and apparently, that trait isn't something he just developed.
In an interview with Bloody Elbow's Steph Daniels, "The All-American" revealed that prior to the now infamous cancellation of UFC 151 in September, he offered to step up and fight light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.
I'm the type of guy that loves big opportunities. I like when the cards are against me, and people think that I have no chance. I believe in myself, so when that fight (with Jon Jones) came out that it was in jeopardy, I called my manager and asked if there was a possibility that I could get the fight because I think I could take it. He was like, 'Really?' and I was like, 'Yeah.' He said give me a couple days, and I told him I was ready to go ... So, he called Joe Silva, and he was like, 'Are you kidding me?' I think Joe liked the fact that I did that. So he said he wasn't going to tell Dana and them unless I called my coaches to make sure it was all 100%. I called Matt and told him that I wanted to this. They were all on board, so I called back my manager, and he tells Joe Silva, and he thought it was awesome, so he called Dana White, but then they ended up throwing the fight out, and then the whole card out.
While anyone reading this article is probably quite familiar with the UFC 151 saga, here's a quick recap:
Jones was booked to defend his title against former PRIDE and Strikeforce titleholder Dan Henderson. Eight days before the event, "Hendo," citing a knee injury, withdrew from the contest and the event was ultimately canceled.
Chael Sonnen, Henderson's long-time friend and training partner, stepped up to fight "Bones" on short notice, but Jones refused the matchup, via Yahoo! Sports.
Jones eventually met Sonnen in the cage at UFC 159 last month, running through him en route to a Round 1 TKO.
Despite a loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157 in February, Henderson could still make a title run if he gets past a former light heavyweight champion in Rashad Evans at UFC 161.
Meanwhile, Weidman boasts an undefeated 9-0 professional MMA record heading into his July 6 title bout with "The Spider."
He boasts six finishes in those nine fights and has defeated top contenders in Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.
Of course, Silva will be the stiffest challenge of his career, with an unheard-of 16-0 record inside the Octagon and also setting the UFC middleweight record with 10 successful title defenses.
Would Weidman vs. Jones have been preferred to a canceled pay-per-view event in September?
John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com and contributes MMA videos to The Young Turks Sports Show.