Chris Weidman is looking to climb his way back to the UFC Middleweight Championship at UFC 210, as he takes on the surging Gegard Mousasi. At UFC 210 media day, Fightful.com's "Showdown" Joe Ferraro talked to the New York native about the fight.
JOE: You've already answered this. I know it's not exactly a home game for you, it's close.
WEIDMAN: “It's New York. I'll take it.”
Right? So, Georges has told me before, Rich Franklin has told me back in the day, they don't like fighting at home, close to home, because of the pressures. Everyone comes out of the woodwork. But you're kind of used to this. Is this a different type of pressure, fighting in Buffalo?
“No, no extra pressure. No less pressure. Just kind of the same as always. I take the pressure and I use it to excite me. It's the pressure I put on myself to win. As far as where I fight, even being in Madison Square Garden, that didn't really add extra. It was excitement. It was just more excitement.”
You keep your circle close when you're fighting this close to home, as opposed to fighting somewhere in Vegas?
“Yeah. I mean, it's easier to bring everybody together in a place like this. What was it, like an hour an 10 minute flight. So, it's very easy for us.”
When you look at Mousasi, who's had a phenomenal run, but you're the former world champion, obviously trying to get back for that title. It's an extremely pivotal fight in this division. If you were the analyst to break this fight down, what can fans expect?
“Mousasi's going to try to keep it standing. He might even try to take me down. But I think Chris Weidman is too motivated and too mentally and physically and spiritually prepared to lose this fight. And I see him on a completely different level than Mousasi. I see him being able to dictate the fight, whether it be standing or takedowns. He's fought better strikers, he's fought better wrestlers, he's fought better jiu-jitsu guys, and I think it's wrong place, wrong time for Mousasi.”
The obvious goal is to get the win, no matter what. You've gotta win. But do you need to make a statement in this fight? Because there's so much craziness going on in this division?
“I'm going to make a huge statement in this fight.”
If you had the perfect fight on Saturday night, what would it be?
“Complete, flawless victory.”