MANILA, Philippines – Top middleweight contender Chris Weidman may be a massive underdog going into his title clash against UFC champ Anderson “The Spider” Silva, but he believes he has what it takes to stun the MMA world.
Weidman and Silva face off for the middleweight belt in the main event of UFC 162 on July 6 in Las Vegas, and the New York native boasts that he has the key to ending Silva’s 16-fight winning streak.
“You have to treat him like just another opponent,” Weidman told Dave Doyle of Yahoo! Sports. “You respect what he’s done in the sport. Of course you do. But you can’t get caught up in it.”
Silva is the longest-reigning champion in the UFC and has defended the middleweight belt a record 10 times. He is widely considered as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, yet Weidman refuses to be intimidated.
“Guess what? He’s a person just like I am,” Weidman said. “He’s got two arms, two legs, two eyes just like I do.”
“I’m not fighting a superhero. I’m fighting another person, and it’s my job to defeat him. Simple as that,” he added.
Weidman has a 5-0 record in the UFC and earned his title shot after thoroughly dominating former top contender Mark Muñoz at UFC on Fuel TV last July 2012.
But he knows that there are still people who believe he does not deserve the title shot against “Spider.”
“I can’t change anyone’s mind,” he says. “And that’s not my job, anyway.”
“I feel like I have the right mix of skills, the desire, the determination, to get the job done. The UFC thinks enough of me to give me the title shot,” he added.
“To those who might think I don’t deserve this yet, all I can say is, tune in on July 6 and I’ll show you otherwise.”