Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Chris Weidman is slowly but surely working his way back inside the Octagon. But while he's on the shelf getting back to full health, he's been keeping himself abreast of all the latest happenings inside -- and outside -- the cage.
Weidman on Rashad Evan's performance at UFC 156:
"First of all, I love Rashad. Probably one of the best guys I've met in MMA by far, one of the nicest guys around. Even though it was going to be great for me for him to lose this fight, because it would solidify me against Anderson, I really can't root against him because he is a great guy and I was just saying whatever happens is for the best. So, I wasn't really rooting against him, but now that it happened and I got a shot, I have to be happy for myself and I hope Rashad bounces back."
On his chances of getting a middleweight title shot:
"I feel good, but I am not getting too crazy because you don't know until it's signed. You never know, so, I don't want to get my hopes up."
When it could happen:
"July fourth weekend in Vegas, (Then) an immediate rematch at Madison Square Garden in November, me against Anderson Silva in front of my home crowd."
His health after surgery:
"I have another two months until I am 100 percent but I already sparred for the first time and I feel great. I feel I am in my prime. I am more athletic than I've been. I am very confident when I get in there against whoever I get in there with in the 185-pound division."
His thoughts on Anderson Silva:
"Greatest of all time, nothing but respect and it would be a great fight. It's time. Young guy, 28-years old, it's my time now. He's 37 and hopefully things work out for me, but, you know, wish for the best."
Weidman (9-0) shot to the front of the "mix" by obliterating Mark Munoz last year on FUEL TV; however, it's been all downhill from there. After Anderson Silva deemed him unworthy as a contender, his house was TKOed by Superstorm Sandy in late October.
Then came surgery.
The "All American" was expected to throw hands opposite Tim Boetsch at the UFC 155 pay-per-view (PPV) event last December in Las Vegas, but was forced to withdraw after blowing out his shoulder while grappling with light heavyweights Ryan Bader and Gian Villante.
Here's hoping for a better 2013.