Widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Anderson Silva has nothing more to prove in the cage. But he does have a legacy to protect in his upcoming rematch against Chris Weidman at UFC 168.
That's why "The Spider" must make note of recent comments made by Weidman's trainer, Ray Longo, who confidently pointed out that guys don't bounce back from knockouts like the one Silva suffered earlier this summer at the hands of his undefeated fighter.
This guy [Silva] had a highlight reel that would scare the crap out of anybody. Now, knowing that he [Weidman] can knock this guy out -- you've seen it in boxing a hundred times, guys don't come back from that type of knockout. On top of that, the guy is 40 or 39 or whatever he is . I don't see it. I think Weidman is going to go in more confident than he was in the first fight. He knows what to expect with all the mugging and all the antics. I think it is really going to be a bad night for Anderson Silva again.
While Longo's comments are hardly surprising given where his allegiance lies, that's not to say they aren't foolish. After all, the last thing you want to do ahead of a fight against one of the greatest strikers of all time is provide that person with bulletin board material.
Both Weidman and Longo have every right to be confident and proud, but Longo would be wise to let his fighter do the talking in the future.
For Silva, these comments are invaluable.
Not that the 38-year-old needs a reason to come out fast and furious against Weidman at UFC 168. But Longo's arrogance is likely what Silva has been waiting for.
Having never before lost a fight in the UFC, none of Silva's previous opponents were able to call him out or challenge him in the wake of an encounter.
Now, Silva's competitive chord has been struck. And even if he's not interested in ruling the UFC middleweight division for the next five-plus years, surely he wants to remind the world what he's capable of while at the same time forcing Weidman to eat his trainer's words.
Considering Silva has nothing left to prove inside the Octagon after winning a record 16 straight fights to begin his UFC career, successfully defending his middleweight crown 10 consecutive times in the process, Longo's remarks serve as a welcomed challenge for the Brazilian, who is a competitor above all else.
Weidman has had Silva's coveted championship belt since knocking him off his throne on July 6 in Las Vegas. But after Longo's bold prediction, the current champ now has The Spider's undivided attention, whether he wanted it or not.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.