Chris Weidman fights UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva Saturday night at UFC 162, live on PPV. Silva is the greatest fighter in UFC history, and has a record setting 16 wins in a row in the organization, ten of them title defenses. Weidman too has never lost in the UFC, indeed he has never lost in MMA anywhere, but he has only had nine fights.
Weidman is a two to one underdog in the sportsbooks, but a large number of fighters have said they think he has the edge.
"I was kind of getting the feeling a lot of fighters were picking me," said Weidman. "It's awesome that my peers see something in me that I could beat the greatest of all-time. I see it myself, but it gives me a little extra boost of confidence when other guys are seeing it too.
"Most of them are not even in the gym with me. They're just going based off my fights. I think the guys that are in the gym with me feel that even more."
"We made some changes to the camp... It was run a little bit more professionally than usual. We had John Danaher, who kind of stepped up and organized the camp professionally. Things were actually scheduled. We had a camp that kind of concentrated on Anderson's weaknesses and strengths, and worked on ways to beat him in both areas.
"Most of my other camps were very general, and nothing was scheduled. It was kind of like just wake up and call people and work out as hard as I can. But this time, every day was planned out in advance. It was nice to have the comfort of not stressing out about what's happening every day. Also, it was the first time we brought some people in to train with. I got a bunch of different looks, and I'm real happy with everything and the way it went."
One of the new aspects of Weidman's camp was bringing in the unorthodox striker Stephen Thompson as a sparring partner.
"He's actually sparred Anderson Silva before," said Weidman. "He was able to emulate Anderson the best. He's a little smaller than me, but for the standup, he helped me get used to the quickness. He's been doing standup since he was like 4 years old, so he's so relaxed in there, similar to Anderson. That was a big help, too."
"I can't really tell you exactly what's going to happen; I wish I could. But I'm going in there to finish the fight. I'm going in there to finish it fast."
If the support of fellow fighters isn't enough, Weidman has this on his refrigerator:
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