July 11, 2012; San Jose, CA, USA; Chris Weidman reacts during his fight against Mark Munoz (not pictured) during the middleweight bout of the UFC on Fuel TV at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
It happened. I swear.
In case you missed it, or you forgot, "The All-American" ran out to the middle of the cage, put his hands on "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" and rag-dolled him for the entire first round. After getting warmed up and working up a good sweat, Weidman came out in the second frame, where he finished off Munoz with thunderous elbows and punches.
It was a high school locker room beatdown, but it happened on camera and in front of thousands of people. The thumping led to many speculating that Weidman would end up being next in line to fight Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. He made sense as a number one contender, but the cry fell on deaf ears when it came to "The Spider" and his representation.
After a couple of months, it was obvious that Weidman had been placed on the backburner, and that he was going to have to notch at least one more impressive win before he would receive a title shot.
There were lots of options who were arguably more deserving, and Weidman could have stepped aside gracefully and let any of those match ups happen. But, when he heard that he was being bypassed by a journeyman light heavyweight, that just didn't sit well with him.
Find out why, after the jump.
"I was a little shocked and confused and a little disappointed. I had just ended up getting elbow surgery a week ago. As soon as I was done announcing my Boetsch fight, getting elbow surgery, the same week I find out that Silva is fighting Bonnar at UFC 153. You know it is tough, they are acting like he is doing a good deed, which is good, but it is a smart move on his part. It is definitely very calculated. He is going into a fight with odds I have never seen before, 14 to one. He is not a dummy. Anybody could lose, it is just that sport, but he is going to make a couple million dollars at odds I've never seen before. It is just disappointing for me. But, I just have to keep moving forward."
Weidman went on to discuss his feelings during "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV, stating that the main reason for his disillusionment came due, in part, to the fact that he had previously heard Silva and his camp say that they were not interested in fighting until 2013.
"Yeah, as soon as I heard the news I was just shocked. This whole time he and his managers' were dead set on not fighting until 2013. They didn't give a reason, but they were set. I thought it was fishy that they picked up a fight like it's no big deal and I'm being called the number-one contender. They are saying it is not a marketable fight because I don't have a lot of fights. But, I am the number-one contender, he should fight me. It is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it. I am going to stay confident and the only thing I am thinking about is my fight against Tim Boetsch on December 29."
It's hard to accuse Silva of ducking anyone. Weidman won't say those words, but he does believe (as he's stated many times, previously) that he poses a threat to the champion, unlike any other that can be found in the division.
He believes Silva has been extremely calculating in the way he and his management have chosen their steps. And, he doesn't blame them:
"I don't know. I just think I am definitely a big risk for him on paper. I am a good wrestler with good jiu jitsu and I don't think he has seen anyone like me with my athleticism. On paper, I am a dead match for him. I think I am a tough challenge. I think his managers, more than him, are keeping him away from me. They want me to get more fights under my belt. They are not jumping with joy to have me fight Anderson."
In the meantime, all Weidman can do is keep training, working hard and hope to mount another impressive victory when he takes on Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 in "Sin City" on Dec. 29, 2012.