Few people in the world have perspective on Anderson Silva quite like Chris Weidman. The UFC's current middleweight champion stripped away Silva's aura of invincibility with a pair of stunning victories in 2013, the second of which left Silva crumpled in a heap with a broken leg and jumpstarted the legend's surreal fall from grace.
Silva is now 40 years old and serving a one-year suspension after testing positive for a variety of banned substances in his UFC 183 comeback fight against Nick Diaz. For all intents and purposes, his career as a top-flight middleweight is likely over, and to make matters worse, it ended not with a bang, but with an uncomfortably dull thud.
After delaying his discipline hearing for several months, Silva finally appeared before the Nevada Athletic Commission last week and brought forth one of the strangest and most underprepared defenses in recent memory, refusing the take ownership for his testing failures and instead painting the whole situation as a misunderstanding caused by a tainted sexual enhancement drug from Thailand.
Weidman didn't keep a close eye on the bizarre scene in Nevada, but he saw the fallout, and he can't help but feel like Silva did a disservice to himself by not coming clean about his mistakes.
"I watched like a little bit of it and I saw some people (talk about it), so I don't know all of the facts," Weidman said Monday on The MMA Hour. "I don't want to just starting talking without knowing all of the facts, but I saw some people said that he changed his story like three times. I saw Bas Rutten said that. And my thing is just, everyone is a screw-up. I tweeted this out. But everybody messes up, so people understand that. But people don't like liars.
"So if you mess up, man, just be honest. People respect that and understand it because everyone messes up. People appreciate honesty. And if you're changing your story three different times, that doesn't sound good. Just fess up."
Weidman added that Silva "kind of got lucky" to have emerged from all the rubble with just a one-year suspension. Under the new NAC and UFC guidelines, which were not in effect at the time of Silva's fight, the Brazilian could've been hit hard with anywhere from a two- to four-year suspension for his multiple failures for anabolic steroid metabolites.
Either way, Silva's case is just the latest example of a strange trend that seems to be developing with Weidman's past opponents.
"I mean, you could start even before this," Weidman said. "I feel like everybody who I fight, they're doing so good, everyone thinks they're going to beat me. Then after I beat them, they just don't look too good anymore. You can start with Mark Munoz, I think he was on a three- or four-fight win streak, he was going to fight for the title, people thought he had a chance at beating Anderson Silva. And then I beat him and he went on a pretty crazy losing streak and then he sucked in people's eyes.
"Then obviously the Anderson Silva fights, people have a million excuses afterwards. But you watch him against Stephan Bonnar the fight before, he's unbeatable. Obviously he was putting his hands down in those fights, and he did that same thing to me except I stuck to what I was planning on doing. I stayed on course and took him out. Since then, he hasn't looked so good. And then, obviously, Lyoto Machida. Poor Lyoto, he's going through a tough patch. And Vitor, we'll see what happens with him. But there seems to always be, no matter what, it's just excuses, excuses."
Weidman, of course, has bigger fish to fry than worrying about his former nemeses. The 31-year-old remains undefeated in his mixed martial arts career and has defended his UFC belt three times since dethroning Silva. Title defense No. 4 comes on Dec. 12 against former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 -- a card which is expected to be one of the biggest in UFC history.
So while the way Silva's case has played out is unfortunate, Weidman hasn't wasted much headspace wondering whether "The Spider" came into either of their fights with an unfair chemical advantage.
"If I would've lost to him, I'd be thinking that," Weidman admitted. "(But) because I beat him, it's whatever. I'm not putting too much thought into that. It doesn't make a difference if he was on it or not on it."