Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Chris Weidman and his UFC 175 opponent, Lyoto Machida, have kept it pretty vanilla -- as far as trash talk goes -- ahead of their title fight, which goes down this weekend (Sat., July 5, 2014) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their respective trainers, however, have done the complete opposite.
On the heels of Ray Longo's comments that Machida's weakness is his suspect chin, Rafael Cordeiro has come to the defense of "The Dragon."
Cordeiro, longtime trainer of Machida, tells MMA Fighting that not only is Longo's statement a laughable one, but it's a bold-faced lie. And come fight night, "All American" will be the one going to sleep, and go home belt-less.
"You can't say Lyoto has a weak chin. That's a lie. Lyoto fought and defeated bigger guys. He's a world-class striker. He has the experience and the talent, and I say he will knock Weidman out. If Chris thinks he's going there with that little hand and that he'll simply take him down and lay and pray, he's dead wrong. Lyoto will knock him out. When you fight the champion you have to dominate, leave no doubts."
According to Cordeiro, Weidman will shy away from a stand up battle and go back to his wrestling roots. For Team Machida, that won't be an issue, but they make no bones about where they prefer the fight to play out.
"Absolutely. We will make him go for the takedown. Lyoto is ready for this type of fight, and he has great counter attacks. I'm a coach for a long time, and I've seen great athletes in great fights, and I feel this is Lyoto's moment. I won't underestimate Chris Weidman, but Mousasi is tougher than him. Mousasi is a brawler, and Lyoto fought five rounds standing against him. Lyoto will go straight forward, going for the knockout. Lyoto will knock Chris Weidman out."
Indeed, Machida has only been knocked out once in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, courtesy of Mauricio Rua at UFC 113 over four years ago. As far as his ability to do the same to opponents, "The Dragon" currently has five highlight reel knockouts under the UFC banner.
And they weren't against newbies, either, as he's flattened the likes of Randy Couture, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans, Mark Munoz, and Ryan Bader.
Weidman, however, has proven he is far from a novice striker himself, knocking out the aforementioned Munoz as well as Anderson Silva, a man who looked untouchable inside the Octagon prior to running into Weidman at UFC 162.
Their trainers have given their honest predictions for the 185-pound title fight, but who will actually get the job done, Weidman or Machida?