Anderson Silva (33-5) will square off against Chris Weidman (10-0) for the middleweight championship at UFC 168 in Las Vegas on Dec. 28, but the challenger should fear the words of the champion’s manager about the upcoming rematch.
This guy had a highlight reel that would scare the crap out of anybody. Now, knowing that he can knock this guy out – you’ve seen it in boxing a hundred times, guys don’t come back from that type of knockout. On top of that, the guy is 40 or 39 or whatever he is. I don’t see it. I think Weidman is going to go in more confident than he was in the first fight. He knows what to expect with all the mugging and all the antics. I think it is really going to be a bad night for Anderson Silva again.
On the surface, any UFC fan understands that this comment from Longo is a combination of Weidman’s trainer trying to get into Silva’s head while talking up his own fighter at the same time.
The difference here, though, is that the words ring true.
Whether it’s boxing or MMA, returning to elite form physically and mentally after a devastating knockout is hard to do for even the greatest fighters. At 38 years old and visibly shaken after his title loss, per MMAJunkie.com, the seed of doubt has been planted for Silva.
During the initial battle in the Octagon between Silva and Weidman, it was clear that both men had separate game plans and were executing them to perfection through the first round. With Weidman looking to take the fight to the ground and Silva looking to frustrate his opponent with taunts, both men shined.
The second round is where everything came unraveled for Silva. As The Spider continued to harass Weidman, the new champion reached in and landed a heavy shot to the Brazilian. Silva staggered, and the American followed with a barrage of shots before the referee was forced to stop the fight.
Silva had never been knocked out in his entire MMA career before his loss to Weidman.
While mentally Silva will claim that he is more focused than ever heading into this rematch, the feeling of not only losing but also being knocked out has to weigh on the former champion as he prepares.
Weidman won’t have an ounce of doubt that he will be victorious at UFC 168, and if Silva takes his eyes off the prize for one second while trying to avoid another possible knockout, the rematch will end in the same fashion the first fight was decided.