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UFC’s Chris Weidman: Anderson Silva ‘realized he couldn’t hurt me’

In reviewing his historic knockout of Anderson Silva, new Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Chris Weidman said victory was set up by dealing Silva a sobering reality.

“He had felt my power and knew I was way more powerful than him, and he realized he couldn’t hurt me with anything he was going to do,” Weidman said Tuesday in a telephone conversation with The Times.

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Weidman said his initial take-down and punishment of Silva set the tone.

PHOTOS: Chris Weidman defeats Anderson Silva at UFC 162

“I was in there right away trying to finish him, I don’t think he’s used to that,” Weidman said.

While UFC President Dana White praised Silva for his ability to ultimately escape from Weidman’s grasp on the ground, Weidman wasn’t all that impressed.

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“I didn’t really care where the fight went,” Weidman said. “I went for a kneebar and knew there was a risk of the guy getting back to his feet if I couldn’t finish. I either wanted to submit him on the floor or knock him out.”

Silva then engaged in a slew of wannabe Muhammad Ali moves, like dancing, punching his own chin to encourage Weidman forward and making comedic facial expressions.

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During that time, Weidman said he grew convinced that Silva’s best kicks and punches would not deny him.

“I threw my forehead on his fists a few times, to let him know I wasn’t scared – ‘Give me your best shot, I’ll eat it,’ ” Weidman said he was thinking during the late first and early second rounds.

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“He was trying to get me to freeze up, make me feel like I didn’t belong in the cage with him.”

But Weidman also landed a couple of punches and said he sensed Silva was hurt by them.

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Finally, Weidman ended the antics, concluding, “I’m coming after you now.”

He severely dazed Silva, 38, with a left hook, knocked him down with a follow-up left, then finished him at the 1:18 mark of the second when referee Herb Dean ended the bout that concluded Silva’s 16-0 run as a UFC fighter with 10 successful title defenses dating to October 2006.

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Long Island’s Weidman, 29, said he partied with friends from New York after the bout, enjoyed a lunch with White Monday that is due to be followed by a substantial financial bonus -- “Let’s just say I’m happy to be part of the UFC,” Weidman said -- and is looking forward to the Silva rematch.

White told The Times Tuesday he’s not sure when the fight will happen.

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Weidman said he is “1,000% sure” it will be the next fight for both men because it’s too lucrative “and because the UFC wants it to happen.”

Weidman said he is likely to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee soon to clear out some “bone chips or scar tissue ... that’ll only lay me up two weeks, then I’ll get back to training.”

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