After beginning his MMA career as a pure grappler, stemming from his elite wrestling background, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has evolved into a dangerous striker which has earned him five wins by KO/TKO.
His three most recent stoppages are by far the most impressive of his career though, with a knockout and TKO over Anderson Silva which followed a highlight reel KO over Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4.
The “All-American’s” elite striking was also on display in his most recent bout where he defended his 185 pound title for a second consecutive time against former light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Despite having some trouble in the fourth round of their scrap, Weidman totally out-struck the Karate specialist to pick up his twelve straight professional win.
In his next bout the champion is set to take on another talented striker in Vitor Belfort who has won his last three fights with violent head kick knockouts. The two are scheduled to go head-to-head in the main event of UFC 181 on December 6 and “The Phenom” doesn’t think the champ will want to stay standing with him:
“He will fight standing against me only if he’s crazy.” Belfort told Ag. Fight in a recent interview. “I’m ready to have a third world title at a third different weight class. I see a lot of openings from him and I’m studying this game since last year. I’m not focusing in his strengths but in his weaknesses and we saw that he has a lot.”
Belfort’s recent hot streak has captured the attention of the MMA world and despite criticism that he has been aided a lot by testosterone-replacement therapy, the 37-year old believes it’s down to the talent he’s received from God:
“Motivates me the fact that I’m at this sport for almost two decades, training and fighting at a high level. Today I can ally the talent that I received from God with maturity and experience. I have gained my spot in different weight classes an this is something that nobody can take away from you.””
Nobody can take it away from him…not even the NAC following his failed drug test in February. The two will throw down at the end of the year where Belfort will look to exploit the champs “weaknesses”.
Do you agree with the Brazilian? Will Weidman be able to handle his striking?