What separates a good fighter from a great one? The good ones are content with what they’ve accomplished, while the great ones have an unquenchable thirst to always achieve more.
UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (pictured) is strictly focused on being great. In fact, even with just two straight title defenses to his credit, he’s already talking legacy – a word only a handful of mixed martial artists could appropriately use without ridicule.
However, when you sit atop the mountain with an unblemished 12-0 resume and you’re the only man to finish off Anderson Silva on two consecutive occasions, perhaps the L-word isn’t completely out off limits.
“When I got into the sport, my goal was to beat Anderson Silva and win the belt, and then have an immediate rematch and beat him again,” Weidman shared on UFC Tonight. “That’s where my dreams ended. Now it’s about my legacy – completely dominating my division, being the best of all time and retiring undefeated. Going out there and proving all these doubters wrong.”
Weidman looks to make his next point against Vitor Belfort, a former UFC champion who has managed to find the fountain of youth at the age of 38. That fountain may have been infested with testosterone replacement therapy for the past few years, but there’s no doubt Belfort is still one of MMA’s deadliest attackers.
“I’m excited. I’ve been thinking about him for about a year,” Weidman said of Belfort. “I’m ready to get past him. Anderson Silva was on my mind for six years. I’m ready to run right through this guy, dominate him and make a statement.
“It’s to move forward and be in his face, be the better man and dominate him everywhere it goes. I need to make a statement to 85ers that they don’t stand a chance against me.”
The best way to build a legacy is to dominate every top contender placed in front of you. Weidman appears to be on the road destined for greatness, but the journey has only just begun.
Legacy is typically attached to legends, and Weidman hasn’t entered that conversation just yet. Although, that’s not something several more devastating finishes couldn’t change.
UFC 187 takes place Saturday inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.