Weidman will see his dream fight come to fruition on July 6 when he faces the middleweight champion in the main event of UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It’s a fight he’s been training for his entire career.
“When I started MMA about four years ago, (Silva) was the champion at 185. When I made the decision to go to 185, I had to believe I could beat the champion of the world, or there’s no reason for me to do this.
“So from the get-go, no matter who I was fighting coming out of Ring of Combat at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, I wasn’t only training to beat those guys who I was paired up against, I was training already at that point to beat Anderson Silva and become the best in the world,” said Weidman during a question and answer session prior to the UFC 159 weigh-ins on Friday.
“Now I’ve finally earned the opportunity to get that and I’m not going to let it slip through my fingers,” he continued. “I think I’ve got my dream match-up right here on July 6. I really think I do.”
Weidman believes one of Silva’s best attributes is his ability to defeat opponents mentally before the fight ever begins.
“I think the best thing Anderson Silva does is mentally destroy people before they even get in the cage with him,” said the 28-year old New Yorker. “Once you get in the cage with him, he does a great job of making you feel like you do not belong in this cage with me. You’re terrible. I’m the man. You’re going to find a way out of out of this fight.”
Weidman doesn’t see that happening to him.
“I think the biggest thing is just – I’m very confident. I know my skill set. I’ve seen what Chael (Sonnen) has done to him. I’ve seen his weaknesses and I think I can expose them again and look for a finish or a good performance,” he said.
Confidence, he believes, is the key.
“You’ve just got to be confident. And you can say anything you want before the fight, but it’s all about when you touch those gloves do you still have the confidence, and I’m going to make sure I do. It’s all mental.
“I really feel like, on paper, I’m a nightmare match-up for Anderson Silva.”