Chris Weidman will finally take on someone not named Anderson Silva, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion will defend his belt against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 on July 5, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A fight that came to be after Vitor Belfort was scratched (details) from his scheduled title fight against "All American" -- which was set to go down at UFC 173 on May 24, 2014 -- after testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) was banned in Nevada.
Admitting that a switch in style of fights wasn't that big of a deal, Ray Longo, Weidman's head trainer, says he's just happy Chris isn't facing someone that will have an "unfair advantage," as would have been the case with a TRT-infused Belfort.
As Longo says, it doesn't matter who Weidman faces because at the end of the day, it's the champion's job to fight and defeat everyone. And that's just what "All American" aims to do, as Longo is confident his pupil will have his way with Machida over Fourth of July Weekend.
He broke it down during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour:
"I got total confidence in Chris no matter who you put in front of him. I think it's pretty obvious Belfort is more aggressive. Machida is more laid back and tries to counter punch, but he'll adjust to either guy. So we planned everything around a counter fighter. He's the champion and he's going to beat everyone they put in front of him, that's the way you have to be when your champion."
"I think Weidman is going to do what he always does. He's going to get in that ring, he's going to go forward and he's going to impose his will on Machida. He is going to make Machida fight his game and he is going to probably just end up crushing the guy. Crushing means there is a good chance he'll dump him on his head and does what he wants with him."
Machida's style has often proven tough to figure out and adjust to, thanks to his elusiveness and preference to counter attack. But according to Longo, one of the main reasons Machida prefers that style is because he simply doesn't want to be pushed and ultimately get tagged on his "weak chin."
"I think he's got a real weak chin. That's his weakest hole. Weidman hits that guy, he'll hurt him bad. That's why he likes to control the pace of the fight. I don't think he likes to be pushed."
According to Longo, Weidman's recent knee surgery will not affect him in his second-ever title defense against "The Dragon."
Despite the "weak chin" theory, Machida has only been knocked out once in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, losing to Mauricio Rua at UFC 113 in 2010 via first-round knockout.
He has the striking skills to do it, but can "All American" add a second KO loss to "The Dragon's" record?