MANILA, Philippines – UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman believes he deserves a shot at longtime champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva, but can understand if the Brazilian legend is reluctant to fight him.
The undefeated Weidman (9-0) became one of the top contenders for the middleweight title after dominating Mark Muñoz last year, but an injury slowed his rise.
Although he has been out of action for a while, Weidman still believes he deserves a shot against Silva, especially considering the state of the middleweight division: other top contenders, including Michael Bisping, have all recently suffered setbacks.
Former top contender Vitor Belfort, who defeated Bisping in spectacular fashion, chose to challenge light-heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones instead of Silva.
“Right now, I think I’m the most deserving to get it if they want to make fight right away,” Weidman told MMA Fighting. “I just don’t know if Anderson Silva will be interested.”
Weidman emphasized that he was not interested in engaging Silva in trash talk.
“I’m not going to start saying Anderson Silva is a chicken and is scared of me. I do think I am a bad match-up for him. I think I really have him beat in a lot of areas. I don’t think he’s faced anybody like me,” Weidman said.
“I also can understand from his view point why he doesn’t want to fight me, for a couple of reasons,” he added.
Weidman is likely a high-risk, low-reward fight for Silva, who has made no secret of his desire to fight welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in what will be one of the biggest fights in UFC history.
If he is not given a chance to fight Silva right away, Weidman says he is willing to face a fellow contender in order to prove himself.
“Whoever the UFC decides, I’m good. I just can’t wait to get back in the Octagon and just keep proving myself,” he said. “There are still a million doubters out there and I love proving them wrong.”