It’s abundantly clear that Chris Weidman believes he’s ready for the great Anderson Silva and a shot at the UFC middleweight championship, an honor the Spider has held for almost six years.
Weidman asked for Silva inside the Octagon minutes after his second-round TKO of Mark Munoz Wednesday night. He reiterated his wish during the post-fight press conference. Then on Friday he took to Twitter to send a message to the Spider.
If you think it’s too much, too soon for Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC), think again. FightMetric numbers amplify Weidman’s destruction of the Filipino Wrecking Machine, landing 46 total strikes to Munoz’s one while scoring two takedowns and passing guard five times compared to Munoz’s goose eggs in each department. Though Weidman entered the fight as a close favorite, he competed against an NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, a winner of his last four fights and also under consideration to be Silva’s next opponent if he had emerged victorious.
“Mark Munoz was probably the worst matchup for me on paper,” Weidman told MMA Junkie Radio. “He's a wrestler and he has powerful striking. But I took the test, and I was able to pass it. I really hope the UFC gives me this title fight because I think I can make some history.”
Veteran middleweight contender Michael Bisping was impressed, but not enough to proclaim Weidman as the next chosen one.
Weidman looked great last night. But no1 contender?If that's the case I want to fight him and prove I'm the number 1 contender.Let's do it— michael (@bisping) July 12, 2012
Bisping, who also challenged Brian Stann, gets The All-American in the co-main event of UFC 152 in Toronto. That means Weidman will be rooting for Tim Boetsch to upset Hector Lombard next Saturday at UFC 149. If Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC), Bellator’s former middleweight champion and riding a 22-fight winning streak (with one draw), defeats the Barbarian and looks great doing it, the UFC may grant him Silva.
Either way, this sets up a nice middleweight tournament that will also involve Alan Belcher. As I wrote a couple of days ago, I’d match the Talent with the Lombard/Boetsch winner. Lombard is a stud, but let him earn his UFC stripes. Weidman has – a lot sooner than anyone thought.
"I really feel like I deserve it," Weidman told Junkie Radio’s “Gorgeous” George Garcia. “Every time I've had a full training camp, I've finished everyone I've fought. I feel like there's no reason to wait. It's time to give the title over to the young and let a new champion reign. I believe I'm the next champion. I've taken short-notice fights and I've taken risks, and I feel like hard work pays off, taking risks pays off and I feel like I deserve it.
Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC