COMMENTARY | On July 6, undefeated Chris "The All-American" Weidman will challenge the most dominant champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's history, Anderson "The Spider" Silva, for the promotion's middleweight title.
The two will headline the UFC 162 fight card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
While Weidman (9-0-0, 3 KOs) will face long odds when he squares up against Silva (33-4-0, 20 KOs) at UFC 162, a few prominent members of the MMA community have expressed their confidence in The All-American's abilities. Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre is one of those folks who like Weidman's chances against Silva, and the man who upset GSP at UFC 69, Matt Serra, agrees with the Canadian's assessment.
"I'm keeping tabs on his training and he's looking phenomenal, he's looking great. Everything's going great. I think he's going to be the next champion," Serra explained during a recent appearance on 'The MMA Hour.' "That's not an easy task by any means, but this is one [expletive] tough kid. … He's really talented and I think people point to the Demian Maia [expletive]. That's literally without a camp. That's not done. Nobody does that. It's not even like the guy had a fight the next week and then he switched opponents, the guy didn't even have a camp dude. He got off the couch and did that. He doesn't walk around like a slob but it's not fighting shape. It's totally two different things. Yeah the guy is going to look human, but look when he has a full camp, the guy's a monster. He's really good. And then you look at the guy closest to him -- and it's stupid, I still believe it's way different. People say about Chris, they compare him to Chael [Sonnen] or whatever. But I believe Chris is a different animal, I really do. I've witnessed it. I think he's going to do phenomenal."
Weidman trains with Serra, so it's not surprising to hear the former welterweight champion talk up one of his pupils. Chris is clearly one of the best middleweights in the UFC right now, but it's hard to ignore how inexperienced he is inside the Octagon.
Like Serra acknowledged, Weidman's wrestling didn't look that great during his UFC on Fox 2 bout against Maia, and the fact he had to cut a significant amount of weight in less than a week certainly played a factor given how exhausted Chris looked during the fight.
However, Maia also looked out of shape that night, yet Weidman wasn't able to distinguish himself in the striking department.
Then there's the fact Silva has arguably the best takedown defense in the UFC's middleweight division, despite popular opinion stating otherwise.
Factor in the fact Sonnen completed 57 percent (4 out of 7) of his takedown attempts against Yushin Okami and 100 percent (6 out of 6) against Nate Marquardt, and you'll start to understand how difficult it truly is to put Silva on his back.
Like all others who have faced The Spider, Weidman will probably have a hard time getting the fight to the ground, which means his impressive grappling skills probably won't help him much at UFC 162.
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