UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is on a rockstar level of popularity in his native Brazil. He has some of the biggest sponsors the country have to offer and is adored by fans. Most would agree with the final half of that last sentence, however 185-pound contender Chris Weidman seems to think Brazilian fans aren't as fond as Silva as people think.
According to Weidman, though, he did not get much heat during his time in Brazil. In fact, the New York native says the fans in the country where Silva is considered a national hero aren't as supportive of him as perceived.
Weidman talks to Kimura.se about the number of Brazilian fans telling him they want Silva to lose for the first time in his UFC career.
"Not a couple, a lot, a good majority of them. Because I think I'm coming here confident I can beat Anderson, coming out in the public saying I can beat him, pretty much the ducking me thing. So I figured [the Brazilian fans] were going to be like, ‘Hey, wait a minute.' But actually it was the opposite. You know, I guess there's a lot of reasons, but a lot of them want to see him lose and they want me to beat him, so I was surprised with that."
Weidman would not get into specifics as to why he thinks Brazilian fans want Silva to lose, he believes a majority of the group have nothing legitimate against Silva other than the fact they want to see the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world knocked off his pedestal.
"Basically when someone's on top for a long time people kind of want to see someone fail, which is kind of like hating. So I think a majority of the people are probably just hating on him and want to see him lose, but I think there's other reasons too but I'm not going to go into that I'm not trying to butcher Anderson Silva."
What "other reasons" Weidman is talking about are unknown, but what is known is Weidman will not be the next man to challenge Silva. That task is likely to go to Georges St. Pierre, should he defeat Carlos Condit at UFC 154 this weekend.