UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was able to do what no other 185-pound fighter could before him, hand former titleholder Anderson Silva his first UFC loss in seven years of competition when the two fought at UFC 162 on July 6.
The 29-year-old New Yorker secured an early takedown in the title fight. He attempted two submissions and knocked out the greatest of all time with a left hook in the second frame. It was an amazing feat, but made more incredible by Weidman not being in top form for the fight.
“I think I went out there and worked hard and went for everything that I felt. In the first round, I went for the heel hook and knee bar. I didn’t get it, but I went for it. I felt a little sluggish in there,” said Weidman during the UFC World Tour: Weidman vs. Silva 2 Press Conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Prior to the UFC 162 showdown with Silva, Weidman was sidelined with a shoulder injury and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“I had a year off. I had two back-to-back surgeries. So I didn’t feel 100-percent, but I still felt good enough to get the win,” he said.
Weidman was well prepared and in excellent condition when he stepped into the cage to face Silva at UFC 162. Conditioning and training were not the issue. Weidman was experiencing ring rust.
“I was prepared to go five rounds in the last fight. I didn’t necessarily feel tired. I just felt off. I felt a little sluggish, a little slower,” said Weidman.
With the time off, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, and the nagging shoulder injury behind him, Weidman looks forward to the Dec. 28 rematch with Silva.
“I’m excited to have a full camp and be able to not have to nurse an injury and I’m excited for this next fight,” said the champion.