According to several fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster -- with the exception of perhaps Tim Boetsch (details here), Chris Weidman is going to end Anderson Silva's reign of dominance in the Middleweight division this weekend (July 6, 2013) when the two meet in the main event of UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In fact, it seems all of the chatter surrounding the much-anticipated 185-pound title fight is that "The Spider" could suffer his first loss inside the Octagon.
But, according to Steven Seagal -- B-level action movie star and one of the men in Silva's inner circle -- all of the talk that takes place before the bout is "cheap" because it's what you do inside the cage that ultimately counts. And while he gives Weidman credit for being a "wonderful" fighter, "All American" isn't going to shock the mixed martial arts (MMA) world.
In fact, the Serra-Longo-trained fighter isn't even going to be Silva's toughest challenge inside the Octagon, a distinction that Seagal says belongs to none other than Chael Sonnen, the man who dragged the Brazilian striker into deep water back at UFC 117.
Seagal explains (via "The MMA Hour"):
"Where I come from, we always say talk is cheap. The proof is in how it goes in the fight. From what I've heard, this gentleman is a real nice young man and is very good on the ground, he's got great grappling skills, great take downs, great arm triangles, stuff like that, very good. I think he's a good offensive fighter and I think Anderson is a better defensive fighter, which automatically puts him at a little bit of disadvantage in some ways. I believe Anderson is faster, more experienced, better timing and I think he's a better striker. People can say what they want to say. In this world, anything can happen. But, I feel on paper and in the real world Anderson has the advantage. Anderson's had some pretty tough times. It was not a cake walk with Chael Sonnen when he was injured badly. That was a real tough time. I don't think it gets too much tougher than that. So do I think it'll be the toughest? No. But, I think this kid is a great kid, great fighter, very strong, great ground game, great fighter, wonderful young man."
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre (more here), as well as former Lightweight kingpin Frankie Edgar (more here), have given their full support to "All American," which is fine, according to Seagal, because they are accomplished and highly accredited people in the MMA world.
It's the other so-called MMA "masters" with no experience who are lying "through their teeth" and "making shit up" who have the action movie star peeved.
"We're living in a very, very ... this is a strange pond to swim in. It's a very, very, very strange pond to swim in. There's a lot of people who have no experience in the martial arts who are talking like they've been doing it for 50 years, and talking as if they're masters. There's a lot of people who make up shit and lie through their teeth. There's a lot of people who have huge egos and huge mouths, love to talk and say a lot of stuff. And then there's people who are really highly accredited people who have been in the martial arts a long, long time. Certainly, we want to hear from them. They give their opinions with respect, which I always try to do. And everybody wants to hear what they have to say. So we're swimming in a pond where there's the good, the bad and the ugly. And what I try to do is tune into the good and stay around the good."
As far as how he believes the fight will go down, Sensei Seagal didn't give a prediction, but hopes the fight will end via a devastating knockout that results in a victory for "The Spider."
"Anderson has a lot of great teachers and a lot of great coaches. I'll give him as much time as I possibly can, but I really have faith in him and I think he's going to do well. I'm not a soothsayer or anything like that, but I'm kind of hoping and seeing a knockout in third round. That's what I'm hoping for, but we'll see. They're both great fighters. They both deserve a lot of respect."
Seagal admitted he hasn't spent too much time with Silva in the lead up to the Fourth of July weekend pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza, but did reveal he will see him in a few days.
And according to this man, Silva will need all the advice and tips he can get in order to have his fight game on point against a fighter many feel has the potential to be the next ruler of the 185-pound division.