Set to headline UFC 175 opposite Lyoto Machida Jul.5 in Las Vegas, middleweight champion Chris Weidman sounds torn about closing his chapter in history with Anderson Silva. Weidman won his title with a dramatic knockout of Silva last July at UFC 162, then topped him again at UFC 168 in December.
"I'm happy to move past it, but It's also kind of a bummer to move past Anderson Silva because it was a big part of my life," Weidman told FOX Sports. "I was visualizing fighting that guy since I got into the sport. [Silva] was a big motivating factor in my life for a long time so to move past it is kind of bitter sweet. Now I get to start my own era and show everybody what I can do."
Taking up the mantle from Silva and his historic run of 10 UFC title defenses, Wiedman believes it's time to build a legacy of his own.
"I want to be known as one of the greatest of all time. I've got a list of guys in front of me in my weight class to fight and beat that can give me a legacy. My goal? I've just got to keep winning. Keep winning fights. Hold on to the belt as long as possible. Clear out the division, maybe some super fights and call it a day."
By the sound of it, a fight with Vitor Belfort won't necessarily be included in Weidman's legacy.
"Honestly, I haven't been thinking about Vitor," said Weidman. "He has his own issues he has to deal with. Lyoto Machida's the guy I'm thinking about. I have no dreams of fighting Vitor Belfort. If it were Anderson Silva it would be a different story, but Vitor Belfort is not one of the guys I'm thinking about fighting every day."
As for Machida, Weidman sounds excited the by the challenge of a new face in the division.
"I think he looked better," said Weidman of Machida's move from light heavyweight. "I haven't re-watched any of his fights yet. I've seen his fight with [Gegard] Mousasi live on TV and his fight with Mark Munoz on TV but I haven't re-watched any of them yet. At the time of watching them I thought he looked good at [185 pounds], but I've got some tricks up my sleeve for him.
"Stylistically he's going to be the same as he was at 205. Going down might make him feel a little quicker, a little stronger and maybe give him more confidence. I'm expecting a very confident Lyoto Machida, but I'm going to break his will."
Having never failed to score a stoppage in the UFC when given the benefit of a full training camp, Weidman hopes to keep the streak alive against Machida.
"100%. That's the goal," says Weidman. "I feel like anyone at middleweight, when I have a full training camp, I'm going to go out there and finish them. That's my mentality. I won't stop. The whole fight will be me trying to finish him. If it goes five rounds, I'm not losing the decision because I'm almost finishing him the whole time. I'm always prepared for a war, but I'm looking for the finish the whole time. I won't be happy unless I finish him."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Hide yo managers. Mike Dolce says fighters should fire their managers and use their money to hire 'world class' coaches. 'These managers are charging the athletes 20 percent. Just to answer a phone call from Joe Silva to get one opponent's name, to then call the athlete and say, you're fighting Johnny So-and-So.'
'Is the UFC a monopoly?' A professor of economics and a former FTC antitrust lawyer try to answer the question.
Dana White's UFC 175 vlog.
Joe Rogan teaches you some spinning sh*t.
BJJ Scout tackles Ronda Rousey vs. Alexis Davis - Takedowns & Grappling.
A nice look at Catch Wrestling with Josh Barnett.
Robin Black breaks down Swanson vs. Stephens.
Ben Askren isn't a soccer fan, teaches you to be a man.
How say you?
Cub Swanson (@CubSwanson) July 1, 2014
Nik Lentz (@NikLentz) July 1, 2014
With a foreword from Dana White
Myles Jury (@FuryJury) June 30, 2014
More grumpy Conte.
Mike Dolce 'disappointed' in Sonnen; calls Conte 'criminal,' 'liar' http://t.co/vrd8WmuuQ5 IMO. List of known clients w/ + tests brings ?s— Victor Conte (@VictorConte) July 1, 2014
Gilbert Melendez (@GilbertMelendez) July 1, 2014
Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) June 30, 2014
Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) July 1, 2014
Urijah Faber (@UrijahFaber) June 30, 2014
Brazil has an interesting way of cutting out there toilet seat covers lol http://t.co/hKNEWfWMCk— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) June 30, 2014
Sent mine in.
Boss sent me this so it's gotta be SFW.
Announced yesterday (June 30 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Tuscan.
Comparing the record of Chris and Lyoto makes one question whether or not Chris would be deserving of an immediate rematch, undefeated he may be... However undefeated fighters are usually undefeated because the list of names on their CV, is smaller than the list of items on my mothers grocery list. If Lyoto wins and defeats the undefeated should the method used to dispatch his opponent, sub, ko or decision influence whether or not a rematch should be on the cards?
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.