Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is still nursing the horrific leg injury he suffered during his Dec. 28 tilt against Chris Weidman, and the MMA legend likely won’t be back until 2015. That is, if he returns to the brutal sport of mixed martial arts.
Like most UFC fans, Silva looks forward to watching his close friend and training partner Lyoto Machida’s next fight against Chris Weidman.
Machida stepped up as a replacement after Vitor Belfort pulled out of his scheduled bout against Weidman due to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban testosterone replacement therapy for all fighters.
Machida will now get to fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight title when he squares up against Weidman at on May 24 at UFC 173.
Given Machida’s knack for knocking wrestlers out cold silly, the number of MMA fans expecting him to dethrone Weidman continues to rise.
Anderson Silva is one of those fans.
“Lyoto has a good team. I believe a lot in Lyoto,” Silva said during an interview with Combate.com, per BloodyElbow. “We are close friends. This belt needs to be in Brazil. Weidman is a great athlete but there isn’t too much secret about fighting him. Lyoto has great chances of winning because Weidman is a normal guy, he has no weapons to threaten Lyoto.”
Not particularly surprising Silva expects his pal to emerge victorious at UFC 173, but I do agree with his assessment.
Machida’s striking is almost as good as Anderson’s is, and that coupled with his almost impregnable takedown defense makes him a tough matchup for Weidman’s grappling-heavy style.
It’s hard to see Weidman out striking the ever-so-cautious Machida in a standup battle, and there’s a pretty good chance the All-American won’t be able to put Lyoto on his back.
Just ask Rashad Evans, Ryan Bader, and Randy Couture, three elite wrestlers that failed to land a single takedown during their bouts against The Dragon.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.
More from David King: