Chris Weidman entered the HP Pavillion on Wednesday night with one goal in mind: to prove that he’s ahead of the rest of the pack.
At 8-0, the 28-year-old was sent into the lion’s den of the UFC’s middleweight division when he met Mark Munoz, but left unscathed.
Weidman outclassed Munoz on the ground in the first by securing an early takedown and pounding away from side control. In the second round, Munoz was able to handle Weidman’s wrestling better and scrambled to his feet, but once on his feet Weidman landed a hard counter right elbow and finished Munoz with a flurry of right hands on the ground.
“I did believe I could come in here and dominate the fight,” Weidman said at the UFC on Fuel TV 4 post-fight press conference.
“A lot of people were asking me before the fight if I deserved the title, and I said, ‘I didn’t want to be one of those guys just calling out Anderson Silva.’ I mean, there’s six of those guys doing it right now and now I’m that guy too. I said I want to make a statement in this fight and I want to make it blatantly obvious that I’m ahead of the pack.”
Many fans and pundits were picking Munoz over Weidman and thought that Munoz’s punching power was going to be the difference between the two standout wrestlers. But after Weidman scored a second-round TKO over Munoz, the MMA world was stunned.
Even UFC president Dana White couldn’t believe his eyes after Weidman walked away from the Octagon with such a dominant performance.
“I’m as blown away as anybody,” White said on Fuel TV’s post-fight show. “He looked incredible tonight. Literally dominated Mark Munoz through the entire fight.”
The confidence of Weidman is sky high right now and at just 9-0, he enters the UFC middleweight title picture.
He knows that Anderson Silva is the most dominant UFC champion for a reason. But come his crack at the title, the Team Serra-Longo protégé believes that he could follow Chael Sonnen’s blueprint, but then do what Sonnen couldn't, and finish Silva via submission.
“I don’t want to be that guy who says it’ll be an easy fight after watching Chael do what he does because Anderson Silva’s been through 15 guys. All those 15 guys tried to take him down, hold him down, and try to submit him.
“Chael Sonnen is that good where he was able to get him down every single fight and hold him down and be good in that position. So I’ll follow that blueprint. I got the length with Anderson Silva too, so he’s not going to be able to play outside too much on me. As soon as he comes in my takedowns are pretty good, I’ll get him down and I really do believe can submit him and finish him.”