Unbeaten middleweight Chris Weidman has no illusions about the challenge in front of him after accepting a bout with submission-specialist Demian Maia at UFC on FOX 2 with less than two weeks to get in fight-shape and prepare for one of the most intimidating grapplers in the sport. However, Weidman is also fully aware of what a win would mean over an opponent with Maia’s reputation, let alone one in front of the millions expected to tune in on January 28 to watch the card.

Weidman recently discussed his decision to take the bout in an interview with MMAFighting where he acknowledged Maia’s BJJ prowess but made it clear he’s no slouch on the ground either.

“I’m not worried at all. I have a lot of respect for his jiu-jitsu, but if we go to the ground, I’m confident and excited to prove where I’m at with my jiu-jitsu,” the former All-American wrestler revealed.

“He’s going to have a lot to worry about too. If we go to the floor, I’m looking for submissions just like it’s anybody else,” Weidman continued, even going so far as to say he felt he might even do the unthinkable and have Maia tapping out. “I’m not the guy who’s going to be starstruck. I believe in myself and I think I can go in there and submit him.”

Beyond the role his self-assurance played in terms of a short notice fight against Maia, it also had a good deal to do with his attitude about life in general.

“I didn’t want to lose the opportunity,” said the 7-0 Weidman when asked about agreeing to the match-up. “You only live once. I have an opportunity to gain a lot of recognition and get myself up to where I want to be. So it was like, I’ll do it tomorrow if I had to. Some people never get that opportunity, so who am I to waste it?”

“I like having adversity. It makes me tougher. It motivates me. And it will make the story better when I get that ‘W’,” Weidman concluded on the topic.

Fans can catch Weidman-Maia as part of a FOX broadcast also featuring Maia’s former opponent, Michael Bisping, filling in for the injured Mark Munoz against Chael Sonnen as well as a headliner between light heavyweights Rashad Evans and Phil Davis.