Add UFC welterweight Stephen Thompson to the growing list of active professional MMA fighters who believe Chris Weidman will be the one to end Anderson Silva's reign atop the middleweight division this weekend.
"Wonderboy" told Yahoo! Sports that while he has trained with both Weidman and Silva, he truly believes that the undefeated prospect is ready for everything his Brazilian counterpart has to offer.
"Chris is a monster," Thompson told Kevin Iole. "He's known for a long time that he was going to fight Anderson, and he was definitely prepared for me when I got there. He used his game plan against me. Now, I'm a smaller weight, and so I'm faster, but he executed so well. I was there just to spar with him, to give him angles and be as fast as possible, and get him to see things that most guys don't see in the cage: Spin kicks, side kicks, hook kicks, throwing punches from different angles. He had an answer for everything."
After a long, successful kickboxing career, Thompson entered the sport of MMA in early 2010 and has compiled a 7-1 record, including a 2-1 mark inside the Octagon.
On the other hand, Weidman comes from a wrestling background, a two-time Division I All-American at Hofstra University.
Now also a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, "The All-American" is a highly-respected grappler with a perfect 9-0 record inside the cage.
Echoing the sentiment of elite BJJ black belt Robert Drysdale, Thompson believes Weidman is a better version of two-time UFC middleweight title challenger, Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen took the fight to Silva at UFC 117 and UFC 148, respectively, having the most success out of any other 185-pound adversary in the UFC, but still ended up being finished on both occasions.
"Chris definitely has all the tools to beat Anderson Silva," Thompson said. "His wrestling is way better [than Silva's] and I think it's better than Chael Sonnen's. I think his striking is better than Chael's."
Thompson, who trained with Weidman as part of his fight camp for UFC 162, also feels that the Long Island native "won't be beat mentally" by Silva before the bout begins.
Weidman has also received endorsements from welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, former 155-pound titleholder Frankie Edgar, ex-205-pound champ Rashad Evans and perennial featherweight contender Urijah Faber, to name a few.
Weidman is currently just a 2-to-1 underdog to Silva (via MMA Betting Odds), an incredible feat in itself considering "The Spider" is 16-0 in the UFC and has successfully defended his title a record-setting 10 times in a row.
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