When recent rumors swirled that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva had suffered a rib injury that could have potentially forced him to withdraw from UFC 162, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community took a collective, and fearful, gasp.
Chris Weidman, meanwhile, felt the need to put himself temporarily out of MMA misery.
That's because "All American" has been preparing for the last few weeks to finally challenge "The Spider" at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a highly anticipated Fourth of July weekend (Sat., July 6, 2013) combat sports spectacular. It's an opportunity the Brazilian reluctantly accepted because the rest of the top 185-pound contender field is currently in tatters, meaning that it should come as no surprise that a possible postponement had Weidman "freaking out."
Luckily for him, the injury turned out to be false. However, with the fight being just one away, Weidman is still a bit on edge and can't wait until fight night in "Sin City."
He explained the roller coaster of emotions on a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"I was like, 'Don't tell me this, don't tell me this.' I'm freaking out. I'm like, 'I need to go home and take a nap. I need to go exit the world for a little bit. Honestly, I needed to go home and take a nap because I was going to start freaking out. It was just too much. Overload. I was freaking out. And then we ended up finding out it wasn't true, knock on wood."
Seconds after UFC President Dana White and the Silva camp confirmed that the champion was indeed well, Weidman was relieved. However, that doesn't mean that he is still without valid concerns.
Concerns that seemingly will only be assuaged when he finally comes nose-to-nose with Silva at the UFC 161 weigh in.
"There's something that scares me with that, yeah. The thing is, it's been a long road. After I fought Munoz, I called him out. We were supposed to fight and it ended up not happening a couple times. So I still have that mind set. But I'm training for the fight. I believe it's going to happen. But there's something inside me that's a little bit like, 'I just really want this fight to happen.' I just want to be in that cage with him. I just want to get to July 6. I want to get to the weigh-ins. I want to look at him. I want to see him physically there and I'll be a happy man."
As far as how the fight will play out, Weidman was rather picky with his words, saying he didn't want to "talk crap" in the lead up to the biggest fight of his life. But, that didn't stop him from sharing a come-from-behind hypothetical scenario, during which he weathers an early storm en route to scoring an historic upset.
"I just visualize it going every possible way. I see it a million different ways. I prepare myself mentally to visualize terrible things happening and fighting through it. Persevering. Front kicking me in my face like Vitor Belfort, but I get my wits back faster than him and I'm right back up. Then he kicks me again and I'm down again. Everyone's like, 'Oh, this kid sucks,' but next thing you know I'm on top ground-and-pounding him and winning the world title."
As Weidman counts down the days for his much-anticipated showdown against the Brazilian bomber, you can bet that scenario, as well as the others, will play in his mind countless times.
And the anxiety level will only increase with each mental replay.