The undefeated "All-American" was highly confident is his ability to become the first man to defeat Anderson Silva inside the Octagon, and that confidence came through in spades as he snapped Silva's 17-fight win-streak of "The Spider" and handed him his first UFC loss in the main event of UFC 162 on Saturday (July 6, 2013) night.
A large contingent of big-name fighters were predicting Weidman to defeat Silva, but the fact he actually pulled it off has to be considered one of the biggest upsets in mixed martial arts (MMA) history.
While winning UFC gold is hands down the biggest accomplishment of Weidman's athletic career, it isn't going to get any easier for him going forward now that he is the king of the castle.
UFC President Dana White said prior to UFC 162 that if Weidman defeated the longtime Brazilian champion, Silva would be granted an immediate rematch. And while Silva sounded like he wasn't all that interested in fighting Weidman again in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, White was adamant about setting up the rematch at the post-fight press conference (watch it here), so there's a good chance the UFC brass will be able to talk him into it as part two would be a big seller.
Defeating who many consider to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time once is a tall task, but doing it twice back-to-back? That's a nearly insurmountable feat.
In no way can Weidman's victory be called a fluke, but there will always be people to discredit his win based on Silva's age and showboating that led to the knockout loss.
If Weidman can defeat Silva for a second time, regardless of his physical or mental standing, it would silence any doubters and truly indicate that a new era has begun.
If Silva stays true to his word and really doesn't want to fight Weidman again next, Vitor Belfort is waiting in the wings for a crack at the gold and was campaigning for a bout with Weidman just seconds after the belt was wrapped about his waist.
Regardless of what happens next, Weidman has cracked the middleweight division wide open and there's a wide variety of options for him going forward.
Do you want to see Weidman face Silva again? Or would you prefer that he fight someone else and circles back to Silva down the line? Let us know in the comments section below.
For more news and notes on UFC 162: "Silva vs. Weidman," visit our complete event archive here.