UFC 194 is one of the most hotly anticipated fight cards of 2015. One of this card's most anticipated fights is its co-main event, in which Luke Rockhold challenges Chris Weidman for Weidman's UFC middleweight title.
Weidman (13-0) is an early favorite to defend his title. Rockhold, for one, does not agree with that assessment.
I'm not scared of Weidman. He's fighting all of these guys that are scared of his wrestling and letting him dictate the pace of the fight. I dictate the pace of my fights. No one else. He's not going to bring anything that I'm not used to. I know he's good on the feet and on the ground but it's the same thing as Machida on the ground. I have a different level of speed and athleticism and he's not going to be able to keep up with me.
Their one common opponent, Lyoto Machida, may be a key to Rockhold's confidence. Though both men defeated Machida, Weidman did so by decision, while Rockhold won by second-round submission.
In Rockhold's mind, it's proof of Weidman's key weakness in their fight at UFC 194.
"Chris is just too slow," Rockhold said. "He's too slow. He's slow. That's all I've got to say. He's slow, slow, slow."
The match is tantalizing no matter how you look at it. Weidman's base is wrestling, while Rockhold's is jiu-jitsu. Weidman has knockout power, though Rockhold is probably a little more diverse in his striking attack. The 31-year-old Weidman is undefeated. And while Rockhold, also 31, is 14-2, he has not lost since May 2013, when he was knocked out in Brazil by Vitor Belfort. It is Rockhold's only loss in five career UFC contests.
UFC 194 goes down on Dec. 12 and is headlined by a fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor for the undisputed featherweight championship.