Michael Bisping was the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight to get his ticket to the back of the 185-pound No. 1 contender line, losing his chance (again) to compete for Anderson Silva's world title thanks to a perfectly placed high kick from Vitor Belfort this past Saturday night (Jan. 19, 2013) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, at UFC on FX 7.
With arguably the top three contenders to "The Spider's" throne out of the picture for now, it leaves undefeated (9-0) Chris Weidman at the top of the 185-pound list. Though he is widely considered to be the true top contender in the division, "All American" has been on the sidelines for the past six months with a bum shoulder.
Now that Weidman is healed up and itching to get back into the swing of things, he feels there is no doubt he should be the one to face Silva next, reiterating that he is a bad mixed martial arts (MMA) match up for the Brazilian bomber.
His words on "The MMA Hour:"
"I'm not going to start saying Anderson Silva is a chicken and scared of me. I do think I am a bad match up for him. I think I really have him beat in a lot of areas. I don't think he's faced anybody like me before. I also can understand from his view point why he doesn't want to fight me, for a couple reasons. There is a lot of risk and little reward in his mind. Well, I take that back. He is going to make millions of dollars regardless. Everyone's saying I don't have a big name. But, if you look at everybody he's fought, he hasn't fought the biggest names in the world, really. I'm not putting anybody down, but no one was a huge name I don't think. Chael Sonnen is probably the biggest name. But, I could be totally wrong. But Cote, Demian Maia, Thales Leites, If you go down the list, I think I accomplished more than those guys before they got the title shot. My goal is to become champion, a humble champion and be a good role model. Right now I think I'm the most deserving to get it if they want to make the [Silva] fight right away. I just don't know if Anderson Silva will be interested. Whoever UFC decides, I'm good, I just can't wait to get back in the octagon and just keep proving myself. There are still a million doubters out there and I love proving them wrong. All the people who think I'm going to get killed by Anderson Silva, eventually I really want to prove those guys wrong."
With no clear time table for Silva's return to action, with "The Spider" himself unsure what the next step in his career is, it is likely the "hungry" Weidman will have to fight and win once more inside the Octagon.
Though he's not opposed to taking another fight in the interim, the Serra-Longo-trained fighter still wants his chance to prove the doubters wrong and confirm he is the one to solve the puzzle that is Silva.
With all the other contenders licking their wounds, Weidman may just get the opportunity sooner than he thinks.