Newly crowned UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman believes he can beat Anderson Silva again, and while he isn't thinking about superfights yet, he thinks those options will be available soon.
"The All-American" said as much in an appearance on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour this afternoon, there is no other fight he wants more than a rematch with Silva.
"(Silva) deserves a rematch," Weidman told Helwani over the phone. "I still think I would beat (Silva) again ... There is going to be a rematch, and I'm focused on Anderson Silva, superfights will come ... I want the rematch, that's the fight I want."
Weidman also indicated that the suggested timeline of having the rematch during Super Bowl Weekend in February would be "perfect" for him, as he has a few bumps and bruises he wants to heal up before he's back in the cage.
While there is no questioning that "The Spider" deserves an immediate rematch, given his 17-fight win streak and 10 successful title defenses, the Brazilian himself cast doubt on Silva-Weidman II.
Silva was tentatively linked to a superfight with UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones with another victory on Saturday night, but Weidman brought those plans to a screeching halt.
Speaking with color commentator Joe Rogan immediately after the loss, Silva said he was not interested in fighting Weidman again, or even competing for the middleweight strap again (via MMA Junkie).
Nevertheless, Weidman said the UFC told him that is the fight to expect next, so he is talking their word at face value.
As expected, other middleweight contenders not named Anderson Silva are chomping at the bit for a shot at the new champion, including Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort.
While the UFC's newest titleholder reiterated he fully expects to fight Silva a second time, he's open to taking on Bisping or Belfort, though he believes "The Phenom" deserves it more.
"I think Vitor deserves [a shot] more than Bisping, but it's UFC's call," Weidman said succinctly.
"The Count" has almost no shot chance at fighting for the middleweight strap given that he's just 2-2 in his past four fights, beating Brian Stann and Alan Belcher and losing to Chael Sonnen and, coincidentally, Belfort.
On the other hand, Belfort has won four of his past five bouts, with his sole loss coming in a light heavyweight title fight against Jones on a short notice fight at UFC 152 in September.
Since then, the Brazilian slugger has bounced back with headkick knockouts over Bisping and former Strikeforce 185-pound titleholder Luke Rockhold.
Will fans be treated to Weidman vs. Silva II during Super Bowl weekend next year, or will the Brazilian legend actually stick to his word and turn down one of the biggest rematches in UFC history?