Article

Longo: Weidman Ready for Rematch

"This fight is less stressful. I was able to go in there and work on new things instead of just being stressed about all that other stuff." - Chris Weidman
Chris Weidman and Anderson SilvaLAS VEGAS, December 26 – At the start of Thursday’s UFC 168 pre-fight press conference at the MGM Grand, the only way you could tell the middleweight champion and challenger apart was that the title belt sat on the table in front of a stone-faced Chris Weidman, who looked tense, as if in the role of contender once again.

Meanwhile, Anderson Silva, in the challenger's role for the first time since 2006, smiled, joked, and looked like a confident champion heading to Disneyland in two days, not a pivotal prizefight against a man who knocked him out and took his title back in July.

But looks don’t always tell the tale, and as the presser went on, Weidman began to crack a smile or two, admitting that as opposed to the lead-up to the first fight, this one has him in a much better state of mind.

“It kinda feels similar, but there’s just a lot less stress in this camp,” he said. “The last camp I was rehabbing my shoulder at the beginning of it, trying not to hurt it. I knew it was going to be the biggest fight of my life, and I couldn’t get injured and I needed to get as much sparring as possible because I was going to deal with some rust, and there was just a lot of stress to get all that off. This fight is less stressful. I was able to go in there and work on new things instead of just being stressed about all that other stuff.”

Weidman coach Ray Longo concurs, saying that his charge is “pretty loose” while noting that even though Silva may have appeared to not have a care in the world, it may just be some pre-fight gamesmanship.

“You noticed there were no antics this time,” said Longo. “Maybe he thinks that didn’t work (the last time), so he’s trying a different tactic. Maybe he’ll give the relaxed tactic now.”

At this point in his career, with all he’s seen over the course of years in the fight game, you’ve got to assume that nothing surprises Longo anymore, but he did admit to being taken aback a bit by questions directed at Silva about a future fight with Vitor Belfort and even a much discussed boxing match with Roy Jones Jr.

“I look at that stuff and go ‘wow, that’s kinda ballsy talking about Roy Jones,’” said the Long Islander. “I said before, Anderson Silva can’t beat Chris in a boxing match, and I believe that. I think Chris would destroy him in a boxing match; it doesn’t go the distance. So is it mind games (from Silva)? I don’t know. But Chris is focused on the fight, and I think that’s why he’s where he’s at. He knows the difference between the BS and the reality, and he sees through all that.”

Maybe that’s the reason for the no nonsense demeanor Thursday. Weidman is here on business, and Saturday’s business is to retain his title and put the name Anderson Silva in his rearview mirror. But to do that, he needs to not look at the first fight and automatically expect a repeat. Longo isn’t concerned about his fighter’s focus leading into the highly-anticipated rematch.

“That’s him anyway, and he wants to prove he’s the best,” he said. “We looked at the tapes and saw some things that could be different and we try to look at what Anderson can do different. So it is a little tough, but I think we’re going to see a more confident Chris Weidman, and that’s a scary thought.”

And if all else fails, there is always the idea of what some have called the “Ray Longo Curse,” which has seen him lead underdogs Weidman and Matt Serra into battle and emerge with UFC championships. Weidman already has the belt, but oddsmakers have him as an underdog against the future Hall of Famer from Brazil. So is the curse real?

“I have my own curse, like from New York (Yankees) to Boston (Red Sox)?” he laughs. “Whatever it is, if it’s a positive thing, I’ll take it.”


일요일, 10월 26
11AM
KST
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

미디어

최근
Top light heavyweight contenders Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis and Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson go at it inside the Octagon at UFC 112. Watch Davis battle Glover Teixeira in the co-main event at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
2014. 10. 20
플라이급 챔피언 조제 알도와 팀알파매일의 채드 멘데스의 카운트다운을 확인해보자
2014. 10. 19
플라이급의 스캇 조르겐센은 라운드 종료 전 리어네이키드 초크로 존 알버트에게 서브미션 승리를 거두었다. UFC 179에서 조르겐센과 윌슨 헤이스의 경기를 놓치지 말자.
2015. 10. 17
헤비급 랭킹 4위의 글로버 테셰이라가 레슬러 출신의 파이터 라이언 베이더와 격돌했다. UFC 179 코메인이벤트에서 필 데이비스와 테셰이라의 경기를 놓치지 말자.
2014. 10. 17