The time has finally come.
In just a few hours, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will go live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, with UFC 168: "Weidman vs. Silva 2," the promotion's highly anticipated year-end pay-per-view (PPV) event.
All eyes will be on the championship main event rematch, where Chris Weidman looks to make it two straight over former champion Anderson Silva, who he knocked out in the second round of their first encounter at UFC 162 to become the new Middleweight title holder.
As both men finished off a week of mixed martial arts (MMA) MMA media appearances and successfully made weight yesterday (see staredown pic here), it's time for their final "Fighting Words" before the time for talking is done and the fists start to fly.
Pre-Fight Press Conference
Both Weidman and Silva, alongside women's bantamweights Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and heavyweights Josh Barnett and Travis Browne, spoke to the media in Las Vegas three days before their respective bouts at UFC 168's pre-fight press conference.
"All American" was subject to questions about additional pressure going into this fight, considering many observers thought his win over Silva in the summer was a fluke and that he is once again the under dog in their second meeting.
On how he will handle the pressure against Silva for the second time around:
"There's always pressures in every camp, but for this one, it's actually been a lot less. I just feel like I have a lot less on my plate in this camp, a lot of things going my way compared to the last one. Last one, I was coming off the year layoff, two surgeries, Hurricane Sandy -- there was question marks in the back of my head. For this camp, zero questions marks, zero reasons why I lose this fight and we don't have to even work on closing those doubts in my head. There is none."
On how he will approach and be motivated for a second fight with a familiar opponent:
"Anderson Silva is known as the greatest of all-time. Going into the first fight, it was a dream come true to fight him and a fight that I was dreaming about happening since I got to mixed martial arts. And I knew if I was to beat him, we were going to have a rematch. And here it is ... so my dream is not complete, I got to beat him on Saturday. So, no lack of motivation at all."
"The Spider" was asked a similar question, and considering how he lost the first time around, he too must feel the pressure going into this fight to reclaim the gold and solidify his legacy.
On how he will handle the pressure against Weidman for the second time around:
"As a UFC fighter, you always have a lot of pressure going into the fights, and thankfully I was able to do a lot of things in my life that brought that pressure on to me and a lot of things that I did. You know, the pressure is there, and in a few days, the pressure is going to be all back with me."
On if retirement is possible after this fight, or if he would like to compete in the Olympics:
"I'm going to answer this one like Ronaldo did once. Of course I'm going to go back and play. I'm very happy and I'm coming back. I'd really like to represent Brazil in taekwondo in the Olympics, but I really don't have enough time to do everything I'd like to do. And I don't think that "Daddy" wants it."
Joe Rogan caught up with both middleweights moments after they stepped off the scale and engaged in a stare down. First up was Silva, who had not weighed in as the first combatant since his first two fights in the UFC. As always, he kept it short and sweet.
On the huge implications this fight has on his legacy and his career:
"Great show for all the people and the fans of UFC -- that's it. It's the belt back."The attention then turned to the champion, who was extremely confident and described tomorrow night's fight as the biggest one of his career."
On what tomorrow night means to him, after beating Silva in the greatest victory of his career:
"It means everything. This is a biggest fight of my life. I'm excited to go out there and do my thing. This is my time...Anderson Silva had his time. This is my time, and I'll show it tomorrow."
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 168 card this Saturday (Dec. 28, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, right on through the FOX Sports 1-televised under card bouts at 8 p.m. ET and then main card PPV action, which is slated to begin at 10 p.m. ET.