Longtime UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is set to face off against a challenger that many think has the best chance to dethrone him in Chris Weidman. The two will square off at UFC 162 on July 6th, marking Silva’s first title defense in a year, last besting Chael Sonnen with a second round TKO at UFC 148.
The undefeated Weidman brings a wealth of skill into the Octagon, having an NCAA wrestling pedigree and a submission game that has reportedly evolved at borderline obscene levels. However, Weidman also comes into the bout off of shoulder surgery and a long layoff as well. His last fight was a short one, as he defeated Mark Munoz impressively in July of 2012. There are questions to be answered for both fighters.
But none of that seems to really matter for Anderson Silva, who’s been busy lately opening up his Muay Thai College in Torrance, CA. He’s also been working on improving his English skills, something that is apparently paramount to any preparation for Chris Weidman. Silva recently spoke to Tatame about his priorities:
“My challenge now is English. With the opponent, I’ll worry about the weather. As I am away from preparation, it is giving me time to the classes, but it is a challenge. My teachers are getting heavy. It is important to learn English to inspire people who come from the same place as me. English will serve the rest of my life because I live in Los Angeles. My children speak English and I suffer with it.”
It might seem that Silva is overlooking Weidman in a big way, choosing to focus on learning English rather than preparing for the bout. If there’s been a knock on Silva, it’s that he doesn’t take some of his opponents seriously, and has been known to clown around while in the cage. Doing that against Weidman could lead to some dire consequences.
Is Anderson Silva looking past Chris Weidman? The only man to truly test Silva was of course Chael Sonnen; so top quality wrestlers can potentially give him fits. Weidman may not be quite the MMA wrestler Sonnen is, but he makes up for that with much, much better submission skills and improving striking. To me, both fighters absolutely have their work cut out for them. Is Chris Weidman the man to knock Anderson Silva off of his lofty perch?