After a Year Filled with Tragedy, Chris Weidman Targets Anderson Silva’s Belt in 2013

January 16, 2013
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Chris Weidman at UFC on FoxAfter defeating Demian Maia and Mark Munoz in 2012, launching his name into contention for UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s title, Chris Weidman, on the surface, would appear to have had a stellar year.

And it was… in the Octagon.

But outside of competition, 2012 turned out to be a rough year for Weidman on a personal level.

Superstorm Sandy hit the New Yorker hard, driving him and his family out of their home.

“We were out of my house for a while,” he told recently. “We just got back in two days before Christmas… to the second floor; the first floor has no floors. We’re just getting subflooring in; there are no doors on the first floor. It’s still a mess, but it’s nice to be back in our old house.”

Weidman says it will still be another four or five months before his house is fully repaired.

He missed out on fighting Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 during the time he’s been dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Weidman’s withdrawal from the bout, however, was due to a shoulder injury, not the storm itself. The timing just happened to coincide.

“I’m better off that I didn’t fight Boetsch (due to injury) because there’s been so much I’ve been dealing with,” said Weidman of the storm and having to pull out of the fight due to his shoulder.

The storm coupled with the injury would already qualify 2012 as a difficult year in nearly anyone’s book, but those incidents were really just the cap on an already challenging year.

Looking back on 2012, Weidman pinpointed his fight against Demian Maia as the moment of which he was most proud. Hearing his reasons why, however, really put perspective on the year that Weidman endured.

“I took the fight on 10 days notice and the next day my uncle dies. Just doesn’t die, he fell on his face down stairs, smashed his face, and I had to clean up his blood,” Weidman recounted, his eyes welling. “I didn’t actually go to the funeral; I went to the wake the next two days. I wasn’t really able to train and on top of that I lose 32 pounds in that time frame.

“It was just such a tough time, but I had to do it. One of the main things that drove me was him and him passing and just what I went through.

“For me to go in there and not just find a way to (not) lose, but to find a way to win, it might not have been pretty, but I literally almost died cutting weight and with all that other stuff going on… and Demian Maia’s a tough guy man.”

That, for Weidman, was a pivotal point, not just in his year, but in his career. Such moments etch a man’s character on his soul.

“I was really proud of that. I got more criticism for that fight than anything, but for me, that really taught me where I’m at. It gave me the confidence moving into my Mark Munoz fight.”

Weidman once again proved the naysayers wrong when he stormed Munoz, knocking him out early in the second round of their fight.

For all the adversity that Weidman faced in 2012, he has an amazing perspective on his situation. He doesn’t dwell or contemplate the negativity of his challenges, he instead is grateful… yes, grateful… that he has it so good.

“There’s always people a lot worse (off),” Weidman reflected. “I got a lot to be grateful for. I got a great family and great kids.”

That is the mark of a champion, not just on the inside, but also on the outside of the cage.

He faces a monumental task in trying to wrest the belt from around middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva’s waist, but as we all saw, Weidman doesn’t back down from the seemingly insurmountable task.

He would gladly jump at the chance to prove he belongs in the Octagon with Silva. In fact, his goal for 2013 is not just to put himself in the position of challenging Silva, but of taking his belt outright. He’ll start back on that path with whomever the UFC next puts before him.

“I want to make a big statement whoever I fight my next fight and my goal is to get that belt in 2013, without a doubt.”

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  • This is the guy to beat Silva, and the champ knows it, that’s why he’s dodging him

    • dan

      Dream on. He hasnt beaten anyone and please dont mention Munoz. Munoz’s ranking was bloated as he never beat a top 5 MW himself. Whineman would get hurt bad against AS.

      • I think where he’s going is that Weidman might have better chances against silva than others have had. No ones saying he’s a favorite against him. Even Bisping has said “hey it’s Anderson silva. I just wanna see how I do against him”.

      • Icepick

        Your dumb and not a true fan of mma is you believe that. Anderson is trying to dodge he’s nothing more than a stinky hairy ******!!!

      • DamianCross

        Who did Stephan Bonnar, Demian Maia, and Patrick Cote beat when they got their shots? If the fans aren’t buying Weidman as a contender its the UFC hype machine’s fault, not his.

        • dan

          Maia/Cote were injury replacements. Bonnar was a fight to save a card

          • Awesome reply. It’s nice to see somebody knows what their talking about and stated facts and not an opinion.

          • DamianCross

            Ok so have Weidman replace the next “injury”,

      • Icepick

        You have no clue what your talking about.

      • Joey

        Rankings are relative to how well your doing at the time of the ranking. In a division and at a time where there was no clear cut number one contender or even a distinct difference between the #2-5 rankings in the middleweight, Mark Munoz WAS top 5 middleweight since he was on a at that time.

        That being said, Weidman went out there and destroyed him. It was almost 100% him in the fight which is damn impressive.

        I think Weidman stands a better chance at beating Silva then Bisping would. Hes got a longer reach than both Bisping and Silva (slightly). He has a great wrestling background (Silva’s only weakness). Also, he is a damn good BJJ practitioner considering he has competed in ADCC.

        Now do I think he would beat Silva? no. I just think makes for a more interesting fight than anyone else in the division.

  • Bayou Boo-yah

    Let him beat som legitimate contenders before getting a title shot. Munoz was vastly overrated and Maia is currently fighting at 170. How about Bisping or Lombard.

    • 100% agree. Bisping has been around since 06′ and Lombard has an incredible record and martial arts backround. Munoz can hang but he needs more then 9 total fights. Not saying I’d be surprised if he beat Bisping or maybe Vitor or Okami but one or two of those wins would make him the solid number one contender. If people question your status as contender then you obviously need to take a fight or two more to clear things up in the best way.

  • denny

    Weidman beat munoz somewhat easily and anderson silva struggled with munoz sparring so much so that munoz started calling out silva before weidman destroyed him. Anderson seen what weidman did to munoz and you couldn’t pull silva in that ring with weidman with wild dana dont want weidman as champ for some reason, probably lose nike endorsement if silva loses

    • LOL!

      It blows my mind that people can be
      this glaringly ******* stupid. The only consolation I have is that Silva will eventually
      fight Weidman, if he becomes more popular, because he’s actually the type of opponent Silva LOVES to face. Undefeated nobodies, aka free title defenses.

      Weidman’s best highlight reel was less than 3 minutes long and had like 8,000 views on YouTube when he challenged Anderson Silva to a title match.

      I have news for you guys, no one with a taper fade from Long Island is defeating the greatest fighter to ever set foot on planet ******* Earth.

    • Anthony Lopez

      Beautiful grammar. Anyway, how different fighters do in sparring has nothing to do with who gets title shots

  • denny

    Anyone that goes into fight thinking silva is the best will lose. You have to think you are better than him and not respect him silva is showing lack of heart by not fighting weidman and this is going to be silvas downfall, this instills courage in weidman. He as well as public knows weidman is certainly number one contender and silva is turned “yeller “

    • Anthony Lopez

      Nut Hugger. Weidman is definitely not the number one contender with his ONE top 10 win

  • bmc92

    imo he still has to beat either vitor or lombard to get a shot! and if vitor beats bispbing i think vitor deseves another shot at the belt if he can beat lombard or weidman after this fight

  • Ray Smith

    Take Silva’s belt? Good luck, kid… we’ll all feel bad for you once Silva embarrasses you.