“…There’s something in the ether…there’s something about this fight that makes it the best fight of the year, so far”
That’s how Robin Black feels about Silva / Weidman at UFC 162.
Black and “5 Rounds” co-host John Ramdeen discussed the upcoming July 6th bout and waxed as to Weidman’s chances of defeating the living legend and exiting with the Middleweight Champ’s belt.
The two seem to be of one mind and in alignment with the general consensus view of most fighters, in thinking that it’s quite possible that the “All-American” can beat “The Spider”.
Belief that the undefeated Weidman (UFC 5 & 0) can rest Silva’s belt from him is based not solely on Chris’s skills set, but also his supreme confidence.
John Ramdeen visited Weidman’s camp to interview the fighter and two of his coaches (Renzo Gracie & Ray Longo) and remarked that “the vibe at this camp is that everybody is so confident…that he’s going to be able to do what he needs to do to defeat Anderson Silva.” Gracie said Weidman's Jiu Jitsu and wrestling are “amazing and Longo said he is “blown away” by how fast Chris’s striking has improved and says of it, that it’s on the same level as his wrestling, now.
Both Gracie and Longo praised the All-American for his sponge-like ability to learn and to implement new techniques.
Evidence of Weidman’s “Rain Man” like qualities was his bout with Mark Munoz, when he put the fighter out cold with an elbow technique he had just recently learned in camp.
It seems to be that his natural ability for learning techniques, coupled with the workman like attitude that his wresting background has instilled in him, has left the All-American supremely confident that he will (indeed) beat The Spider.
Of Weidman’s confidence level Black noted that “no matter what every other guy who has gone in there and fought him has said, they haven’t had this level of belief in themselves. They haven’t waked in there with the true knowledge that we’re going to win this fight.”
Regarding his opportunity, Chris commented that “I put myself in a position I wanna be (in) and now it’s just a matter of taking it and making the most of it.”
However and regardless of how much Weidman has grown, particularly in the stand-up department, the reality of this fight is that it starts on the feet and Anderson Silva is the best in the world at it. No matter how much of a savant Weidman might be, there’s precious little chance that Chris could have closed the distance with the Champ regarding the subject of stand-up.
If the All American cannot take this fight to the ground as did Sonnen, then my guess is that his improved stand-up will not carry the day against the wizard of 185.