For his second-round KO of longtime former middleweight king Anderson Silva, the Serra-Longo fight team stalwart has already drawn comparisons to mentor Matt Serra, a hefty underdog who upset Georges St-Pierre at UFC 69.
But Ray Longo, Serra's partner and his trainer before his brutal loss with St-Pierre in their rematch at UFC 83, acknowledges that logistically, the situation with Weidman appears much more promising.
Serra was on the verge of turning 33 when he TKO'd St-Pierre. "The Terror" had also lost three of five fights prior to joining the cast of The Ultimate Fighter Season 4.
Before facing Silva, Weidman, on the contrary, had just turned 29 and had amassed a 9-0 record, including a 5-0 mark in the UFC.
Additionally, St-Pierre was only 26 when he scored a rematch with Serra. Silva, conversely, will turn 39 less than four months after his scheduled second go with Weidman.
During a July 15 edition of Shameless MMA Radio (via lowkick.com), Longo seemed supremely confident that Weidman won't suffer the same pitfalls at UFC 168 that Serra endured in his rematch with St-Pierre.
Like Weidman did to Silva, Serra caught St-Pierre in their first bout at UFC 69 and finished him with a vicious flurry of ground strikes.
Roughly a year later, however, a healthier and smarter St-Pierre roughed Serra up at UFC 83, ultimately finishing the New York native with a brutal barrage of knees to the body.
Longo flat out doesn't believe that Silva will give Weidman a better challenge at UFC 168. And unlike St-Pierre, who fought Serra at the beginning of his twilight in their rematch, Longo says Silva will have to face a man in his prime.
Longo explained on Shameless MMA Radio precisely why he believes Silva's days are numbered and why Weidman will be even more confident in the rematch:
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's 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's really going to be a bad night for Anderson Silva, again.
Longo also elaborated on what he said to Weidman in between the first and second rounds at UFC 162 and how he kept "The All-American" focused on becoming the first man to KO "The Spider":
In training it was, 'I want you to put a bullseye on his chest. I don't want you chasing the head. Let's start at the body. Don't make the head come forward. Then we can look for it.' With all the passion and the excitement, that's the way it came out, which I think everybody enjoyed, so I'm happy about that, too.
Before leaving the show, Longo was asked how long he believes Weidman can hold the middleweight strap, a question he answered by saying:
He's a world-class jiu-jitsu player, he's a world-class wrestler [and] his striking is improving in leaps and bounds every second. ... He's not the flashiest guy around. He's a grinder, man. He reminds me of like an old-school fighter, man. He's in your face, he's cutting off the ring [and] he's suffocating you, and before you know it, the guy puts his hands on you and you don't want nothing to do with him.
Weidman, who aggregate betting website Bovada.com has already deemed a 1.25-to-1 (+125) underdog against Silva (-155), will get his chance to prove Longo right on Dec. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
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