As Anderson Silva prepares to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title for the eleventh consecutive time this weekend (July 6, 2013) at UFC 162 against Chris Weidman in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Brazilian striker has listened to countless comments from the mixed martial arts (MMA) community (such as this one) predicting that his reign atop the 185-pound mountain may soon come to an end.
But, as his friend Steven Seagal says, "talk is cheap."
Nevertheless, during "The Spider's" seven-year UFC career, never has one of his foes received so much backing and support from peers and fans alike, insisting that there will be a new heir to the middleweight throne once the dust settles in "Sin City."
Many -- such as Ray Longo, Weidman's striking coach -- believe Chris's wrestling will be the key to success and claims there's nothing the Brazilian bomber can do to prevent getting dumped on his head.
But, as Anderson recently proclaimed (via Rick J. Lee), as talented an athlete and as "good" a wrestler as Weidman is, bottom line is, they aren't going to engage in a grappling match inside the Octagon, they're going to be fighting.
"Yeah, he's a good wrestler, a good athlete, but, a fight is a fight. It's different. This is not wrestling, this is MMA. This is not jiu-jitsu, this is MMA. This is not muay-thai, this is MMA."
And you Chris, aren't as long as "Bones."
Indeed, Weidman has his two-time NCAA Division-1 All American credentials in his back pocket to cement his status as one of the better wrestlers in the division. And, as Chael Sonnen proved at UFC 117, Silva does need to work on his takedown defense, dragging the jiu-jitsu black belt to the mat -- at will -- before tapping to a triangle choke in the fifth and final round.
It's obvious Anderson isn't too worried about Weidman's outstanding wrestling skills because at the end of the day, he'll have the use of his lethal kicks and punches, as well as his top-notch submission game to aid him.
Should Silva come up short and taste defeat for the first time inside the Octagon, he can find comfort in knowing he'll have an immediate chance to get his title back.
But will he need it?