Hey, you just beat the legend, Anderson Silva, for a second straight time. So, Chris Weidman, what are you doing next?
That’s the question Weidman will begin answering this coming weekend when he faces Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in the main event.
Not to take anything away from Machida, a former light heavyweight champion and a man considered one of the top fighters in the world, but for Weidman, it has to feel like a letdown.
And there’s nothing that could really change that outside of facing a fellow UFC champion.
The challenge ahead for Weidman is a difficult one – both inside the Octagon and outside of it. In terms of matching up with Machida, that’s a task in and of itself.
But mentally, Weidman has to get over Anderson Silva and all the hoopla and prestige that he brought with him to the Octagon. One thing going in Weidman’s favor is the timing of the card, as it takes place almost a year to the day when he first beat Silva.
For Weidman, fighting on the Fourth of July in Las Vegas could become a tradition. It allowed him to drape the U.S. flag over his body last year when he finished “The Spider” with a second round knockout blow and let off an incredible thrill through the night.
Weidman’s win changed the entire course of the UFC. It gave Johny Hendricks a chance against Georges St-Pierre – and he almost came through. It gave TJ Dillashaw a shot vs. Renan Barao – and he prevailed. Weidman’s win was a motivating factor for all the underdogs out there to go out and succeed inside the Octagon.
Now, as the hunted, “The All-American” must regain that status as the underdog and prepare just the same way he did for Silva; feeling as if the entire world is against him and he has nothing to lose.
As always, FightLine will have complete coverage of UFC 175 this Saturday night, including live play-by-play and all your post-fight news and information.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports