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‘Confident’ Chris Weidman vows to make always-calm Gegard Mousasi ‘panic’ at UFC 210

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of back-to-back devastating and bloody losses to Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero (see them here and here) Chris Weidman wasn’t looking for an easy road back to the Octagon to get his confidence back. That's because he never lost it. On the contrary, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion claims he was eyeing the toughest fight available to expedite his road back to a title fight, which is the reason he didn’t hesitate to accept a risky fight against the streaking Gegard Mousasi, which is set to go down on April 8, 2017 at UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York (details).

"I want to get that belt back, and fighting the toughest guys in the division is the way to do that," said Weidman on a recent edition of "The MMA Hour." "I don’t take that last loss and think, ‘I need to beat some guy who is not on my level to get my confidence back.’ I know exactly what I did wrong in that last fight and what I have to do differently, so I don’t have to fight any of those guys to get my confidence level up. I’m just as confident as I was. I feel like Mousasi is a great fight for me to get back on my winning ways and get closer to fighting for the title again."

Weidman admits Robert Whittaker was another option given to him, but says it all came down to timing, and Mousasi fit the bill perfectly for a showdown in his home state. Mousasi is currently riding a four-fight win streak, three of which have come via knockout. A win over "All American" --  who hasn’t had a victory in nearly two years -- could very well put him at the forefront of his first-ever UFC title fight.

While a victory for Weidman won’t do the same for him, it will at least keep him from tumbling out of a Top 10 ranking and out of the title picture for good. That said, Weidman wasn’t overly-impressed with Mousasi’s resume as of late ... or his ducking accusations.

"They’re definitely some good guys, but look at my record," said Weidman, who has competed against the best the division has to offer during his UFC run. "This guy says I am scared of him, look at my record, look at the guys I have fought."

As for his match up against Mousasi, the ex-champion vows to make the always-calm combatant to panic during their showdown.

"What he brings to the table is that he is an experienced guy and he fights like he is experienced," concluded Weidman. "He stays calm in all situations, but I am going to make him panic when he fights me. I really feel like it’s a great fight. I give him respect, I think he’s a tough guy and I expect a tough fight, but I just think it’s a great fight for me,"

For more on that upcoming matchup click here and here.