There's an old adage that says, "To be the man, you have to beat the man."
And though Chris Weidman has already defeated Anderson Silva -- the consensus best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time -- on two separate occasions, he still doesn't feel like he's earned the right to steal the prestigious label away from Silva.
Appearing on "The MMA Hour," a humble Weidman says he still has plenty of work to do before he can achieve his goal of becoming the greatest in the sport of MMA and says that Anderson's legacy and spot as the best in history is still intact, based on his overall body of work in the fight game.
"All American" explains:
"Because of everything he's accomplished. Muhammad Ali, he's not doing too good right now, but what do we call him? I'm not that guy (who will market himself as best of all time), I have a lot to prove before I consider myself the greatest of all time. That is one of my goals, my long-term goal. I have a lot of guys to beat before that. Even if I beat the greatest of all time, doesn't make me the greatest of all time. I have to improve my resume. I'm only 11 fights in, I got a lot of work to do."
Furthermore, Weidman says he still doesn't feel he's earned the respect of naysayers who said his first win at UFC 162 was a fluke (video) and that his UFC 168 win was just bad luck on Silva's part due to his leg snapping in two (pictures), but he is very comfortable knowing that he won both fights.
"I'm never going to win over the respect of certain people and I can tell you one thing, after the first fight I felt like I needed to prove even to myself that I'm better than him. He started showboating, even though he had done that before, when I knocked him out I surprised myself. But after both fights now, being in the past I can for sure tell you I'm the better fighter. I'm completely comfortable knowing I won both fights. I just really feel like there was nothing he could do in those both fights to beat me, to be honest with you."
In addition, Weidman says he would like to see Silva return, but also said it will be a tough task, not so much from the physical aspect, but the mental side of it.
But according to the 185-pound kingpin, Silva really doesn't have anything else to prove.