Chris Weidman knows the deal. If he loses his middleweight title back to Anderson Silva at UFC 168 next week, a segment of the audience is going to view his title reign, fair or not, as a one-punch fluke.
So Weidman is taking the same level-headed approach he took into their first fight in July, in which he rocked the MMA world by ending Silva's near-seven-year title reign with a second-round finish.
"I still feel like I have everything to lose in this fight," Weidman said on Tuesday's media teleconference. "Like I said before, I need to win this fight to solidify me as champion, and to achieve my other long-term goals I need to win this fight. I put a lot of pressure on myself. This is just the same mentality as the last one."
Weidman has a similarly humble approach to the fact he's the underdog on to the former champ on the betting lines.
"I'm fighting Anderson Silva," Weidman said. "I wasn't a favorite last time, and I didn't expect to be a favorite this time. He's been in this sport, I can't tell you how much longer, he's been around more, he's been around, he's had his wins, he's done a lot for the UFC and mixed martial arts. He deserves to be the favorite."
As for whether Silva will clown again at UFC 168, similar to the moments leading up to Weidman's shocking win? Not his concern, Weidman says.
"I'm not really worried about it," Weidman said. "I'm expecting anything. I'm expecting him to pull guard, do handstands, I don't know, I don't really care what he's doing. ... Whether he has his hands down, hands up, that's a question for him. Either way, it doesn't really matter to me."