Although Weidman has only been in the UFC for a total of five fights, he's made a quick rise up the middleweight ranks with a slew of impressive performances.
The New York native is also adept at pre-fight preparation because any time that he's had a full multi-week training camp to prepare for an opponent, he's won the subsequent fight and finished each time (his two decisions in the UFC both came in short-notice bouts).
So as he prepares for his bout against Silva at UFC 162, Weidman opened up about what he did specifically to get ready for his chance to dethrone the fighter most commonly recognized as the greatest of all-time.
Every fighter has their own methods when it comes to eating before a fight begins. The role of the nutritionist in MMA has virtually become as important as the coaches that implement a game plan for winning a fight.
Coaches like Mike Dolce are routinely sought out for their expertise in fueling a fighter's body the right way before a bout while also ensuring the correct kind of weight cut happens 24 hours out from a fight.
In preparation of Silva, Weidman brought in a familiar face to UFC fans to help get his nutrition on track and get the best possible food in his body throughout training camp.
"I hired former UFC fighter Aaron Simpson, along with some nutritionists from Sanford Health's 'Profile Performance' program," Weidman revealed recently. "They tailored a specific diet for me for 12 weeks out, eight weeks out and so on. Cytosport's supplements play a major role in my diet. I take a Monster Milk after every workout and Muscle Milk Light as meal replacements when I am trying to bring my weight down a bit."
During fight week, the intensity turns up even more because Weidman's schedule shifts dramatically with the move from his camp in New York to Las Vegas. The three-hour time difference, as small as it may seem, can hit everybody in different ways.
For Weidman, he adjusts his training and eating schedule in relation to when he will actually hit the cage on Saturday night. For a main event bout like his, Weidman and Silva should enter the Octagon around midnight ET/9 p.m. PT.
"I have Aaron, along with my coaching staff, coming in all week to help me out. We will work out in the evening around the same time that my fight will take place on Saturday night," Weidman said. "We stick to a strict plan to ensure the weight comes off the right way, and I will refuel accordingly."
Weidman's success in the UFC is undeniable, but because the stakes were raised for this fight, he did make some significant changes to ensure his readiness for this bout. No matter what has been done in the past, Weidman knew he'd need to go the extra mile to face Silva.
"I did a lot for this fight. I added a strict nutritional and supplement plan. My camp was much more structured," Weidman said. "I brought in numerous sparring partners from around the country. I added cycling to my cardio program. This is the best that I have felt heading into a fight."
Weidman will hit the scales on Friday, and because it is a championship bout, he has to hit the mark at 185 pounds or less. There will be no one-pound allowance, which is normally given to fighters during a weigh-in, because a title is on the line.
After making the 185-pound limit, Weidman will then head out with his team for a traditional post-fight meal that's always the same. "I eat spaghetti and meatballs after I weigh in," Weidman says.
Weidman always has a great team around him to prepare for any fight. From head coach and boxing instructor Ray Longo to longtime jiu-jitsu instructor Matt Serra, Weidman surrounds himself with the best.
For this fight camp, Weidman worked with a variety of training partners, including UFC welterweight Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson, who emulated a kickboxing style similar to Silva's.
He also made trips to Manhattan, where he worked at Renzo Gracie's academy, routinely training with names like UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and a huge cast of characters with big-fight experience.
As far as his day-to-day preparation, Weidman shared his normal training schedule to show what a high-level UFC fighter does to get ready for a championship bout:
—8 a.m.—Bike ride.
—1:30 p.m.—Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
—8:30 p.m.—Heavy pad work with strength and conditioning.
Weidman hits the pads for about six rounds, and directly after, he has circuit training.
Double-arm rope slams for 30 seconds.
Squat to push press 30-pound dumbbells.
Car push 60 yards.
Fireman rope pull 200-pound sled.
Farmers' walk 60 yards with 80-pound dumbbells.
(This circuit is done two consecutive times before he segues to the second circuit).
Jumping jacks with battle ropes for 30 seconds.
15-20-second static hold on chin-up bar.
Push-up to dumbbell row for 20 reps.
Static hold with band in a seated-row position.
Light pad work in the morning, and sparring in the afternoon.
—8 a.m.—Bike ride,
—1 p.m.—Wrestling at Hofstra University.
—8:30 p.m.—Strength and conditioning.
Five-Minute/Five-Round Circuit with One-Minute Rest Period
30-second incline run 8 mph at 7.5 percent incline.
20 thrusters (squat with press).
20 one-arm dumbbell row with 50 pounds.
20 medium ball push-ups.
20 dumbbell hammer curls with 25 pounds.
20 power toe touches with medium ball.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the morning and sparring in the afternoon.
A combination of wrestling, strength and conditioning work, a light swim and some stretches.
Sparring and massage.
All of this combined is what Weidman did week-to-week to get ready for Silva and their upcoming fight on Saturday.
While Weidman's fight camp started about 12 weeks out from the date for the fight, he says his actual preparation has been going on for about four years now.
"I have been preparing to fight Anderson Silva ever since I started training MMA," Weidman stated.
Will all the hard work, dedication and preparation pay off for Weidman? UFC 162 will tell the tale on that story.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted