On July 6, the crowd inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas sat stunned as Chris Weidman dethroned the greatest champion in UFC history, Anderson Silva, by knockout in the second round of the UFC 162 main event.
The highlight reel plays over and over in commercials advertising the rematch set for UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in the same venue. Silva had his hands down and was acting like he was hurt by a left hand that Weidman had just landed. His in-octagon antics gained him legendary status, but on that night they proved to be his undoing. Seizing the moment, Weidman pressed forward with a three-punch combination. Silva dodged and weaved his way around the first two, but was unable to avoid the third, which left him unconscious for the first time in his 16-year career.
The former champion would like to put the loss behind him and regain the title he once had in the rematch.
“The last fight is in the past. I’m really looking forward to this next fight, and everything is going to be different,” said Silva on a recent media conference call promoting the event.
When the rematch was announced a week following UFC 162, Silva stated, “I back. Trust me, I back.”
Earlier this month, Silva characterized his mistakes in the first fight as “basic mistakes.”
“My mistakes in that fight, and this is the first time I’m saying this, were basic mistakes,” Silva told Sportv. “I did everything I had to do except hit him. I didn’t counterattack. When I stopped with my feet parallel, I should have hit him and walked one step behind. I didn’t do that. I saw my mistakes and I’m working on that to train for this next fight.”
Silva has made the necessary adjustments in training and promises the rematch will be different.
“Obviously we made a few changes. When you see a mistake, you’ve got to get back and see where that mistake is and change things around. But like I said, that’s in the past and everything is going to be different from now on,” he said during the conference call.
Asked if the loss has reinvigorated his drive to compete, Silva told MMAWeekly.com, “Of course.”
Since signing with the UFC in 2006, Silva has rewritten the UFC history books. His accomplishments include the most consecutive title defenses with ten, the most Knockout of the Night awards with seven, the most finishes in UFC history, the most finishes in title fights, the most consecutive wins inside the Octagon, and the longest title reign, which lasted 2,457 days. He has nothing left to prove, except whether or not he can become a two-time champion.
“I believe that when you’re well-trained and you’re in a good mindset and you’re happy doing what you’re doing that anything is possible,” said Silva. “I don’t think I have anything to prove to anyone, but I’m very motivated.”