Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
After an up-and-down 2012, UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman looks to make a statement in 2013 as he aims to capture the promotion's 185-pound title, which is currently in the tight grasp of Anderson Silva.
When it rains it pours. But, in Chris Weidman's case, who had a roller coaster 2012, when it rains, it absolutely storms.
First, he defeated Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 2 on 10 days notice and after cutting 32 pounds, just days removed from seeing his uncle die in front of him following a fatal fall. Then, he obliterated Mark Munoz at UFC on FUEL TV 7, only to then lose his home to the unforgiving wrath of Hurricane Sandy.
Weidman has felt the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.
If that wasn't enough, "All American" didn't get his desired title fight against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva and then had to withdraw from his year-end bout against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 because of a shoulder injury which has since been operated on.
That right there, is enough to drive a sane man crazy.
But, the New York strong fighter prevailed and is eager to put 2012 in his rear-view mirror as he is determined to make 2013 his year. For Chris, nothing would be better than to capture the UFC's 185-pound strap, which is currently owned by "The Spider."
He spoke to MMA Weekly about his future goals:
"I want to make a big statement whoever I fight next fight. My goal is to get that belt in 2013 without a doubt. I wanted it in 2012, I felt like I deserved it, but, this is going to make me hungry. I'm so hungry. I was frustrated at first. I'm kind of over it. I feel like I need to get more fights now. Whatever the UFC wants to do, I'm down for. I'm not going to sit here and complain or anything like that. I'm ready to do what I have to do. But, the thing is, 100 percent I want to be champion, whatever it takes, I don't want to be waiting around for anything."
The Serra-Longo trained fighter started 2013 off right by winning the "Breakthrough Fighter of the Year" award at last week's World MMA Awards, besting UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, Strikeforce welterweight king Luke Rockhold, UFC interim-bantamweight champ Renan Barao and Bellator's lightweight champion Michael Chandler on the fan votes.
Not too shabby.
Weidman's dance card is currently empty as he wraps up rehabilitation for his injured shoulder. But, with the newest additions to the promotion's middleweight class, not to mention the current contenders the UFC houses, "All American" should have no problem finding a suitable challenger upon his return.