Chris Weidman believes there are some great challenges still ahead in the middleweight division, but he doesn't see anyone getting close enough to take the title from around his waist.
Chris Weidman plans on being middleweight champion for a long, long time
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Getty Images North America
By Damon Martin
Two fights into his career as the UFC middleweight champion, Chris Weidman's confidence has just continued to grow with each performance.
That sort of thing tends to happen when you have two wins over the fighter most widely recognized as the greatest of all time in Anderson Silva. Weidman also dispatched of former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida back in July to further cement his spot at the top of the division.
Next up for Weidman is a bout against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort on February 28 in Los Angeles as the headline fight for UFC 184. Weidman gave his thoughts on Belfort while also mentioned the recent drug test he took courtesy of the California State Athletic Commission.
"He just took a test the other day and I'm hoping he passes. That's the first thought," Weidman said. "The second thought is February 28 and I'm going to completely dominate him."
With all due respect to the division, no one is beating me at 185. Sorry. I think everybody is talented. I think everyone has a threat, but none of them are beating me
— Chris Weidman
Belfort's last fight was in November 2013 before he dealt with a year full of scrutiny following the ban of testosterone replacement therapy, a treatment the Brazilian had been using for several years. It was already going to be a tall order to tackle Weidman while taking shots of testosterone -- now it might be even tougher.
If Weidman does go through Belfort with ease there are still plenty of obstacles ahead in the growing middleweight division. Names like Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Luke Rockhold are just a couple of the possibilities, but Weidman isn't overly concerned with anybody.
"With all due respect to the division, no one is beating me at 185. Sorry," Weidman said. "I think everybody is talented. I think everyone has a threat, but none of them are beating me."
Remember, this is the same guy who once said he was going to beat Anderson Silva, give him an automatic rematch, and then go out and do it all over again. Weidman's current record against Silva is 2-0.
So what about the former champion who held onto the title for seven years with the most dominant reign in UFC history? Would Weidman ever entertain a third fight with Silva if he comes back healthy and starts winning again in January?
Weidman doesn't sound all that interested, but then again he does like to get a nice fat paycheck for what he considers to be a fairly easy win at this point.
"Anderson Silva a third time? If that's what people want to see then it will happen. Easy payday? Yeah pretty much," Weidman said. "With all due respect."
From the sound of things, Weidman doesn't believe anyone past or present will give him much of a challenge when it comes to the middleweight division.
If he does conquer the best fighters in the world at 185-pounds, what then becomes the next ladder to climb?
How about the light heavyweight division?
"I have a lot of great guys I have to face before that's going to happen, but eventually I do see that happening," Weidman commented on a move to 205.
There's a long road to travel at middleweight so even if Weidman finishes Belfort at UFC 184, don't expect the New Yorker to abandon the weight class any time soon. Still, expect a lot of questions in the near future about how he'd do against fellow Empire state resident Jon Jones.