A sizeable chunk of the MMA community is predicting UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will lose his title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162. But if you ask Steven Seagal, the former action star at times loosely affiliated with Silva's camp, people may be kicking Silva to the curb a tad too soon.
"Where I come from, we always say talk is cheap. The proof is in how it goes in the fight," Seagal said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
"(Silva's) had some pretty tough times. It was not a cake walk with Chael Sonnen when he was injured badly. That was a real tough time. I don't think it gets too much tougher than that. So do I think it'll be the toughest (fight of his career)? No. But I think this kid (Weidman) is a great kid, great fighter, very strong, great ground game, wonderful fighter, wonderful young man."
In the lead-up to fight week, numerous fighters have thrown their support behind Weidman, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre among them.
Seagal, however, views the constant anti-Silva narrative as nothing more than hype and background noise.
"We're living in a very, very... this is a strange pond to swim in. It's a very, very, very strange pond to swim in," Seagal said. "There's a lot of people who have no experience in the martial arts who are talking like they've been doing it for 50 years, and talking as if they're masters. There's a lot of people who make up s--t and lie through their teeth. There's a lot of people who have huge egos and huge mouths, love to talk and say a lot of stuff. And then there's people who are really highly accredited people who have been in the martial arts a long, long time. Certainly, we want to hear from them.
"They [give] their opinions with respect, which I always try to do. And everybody wants to hear what they have to say. So we're swimming in a pond where there's the good, the bad, and the ugly, and what I try to do is tune into the good and stay around the good."
Although Seagal's time together with Silva has been sparse over the past few months, he still expects to travel to Las Vegas to visit with the middleweight champ in the few days prior to UFC 162. And ultimately, despite their lengthy time apart, Seagal isn't the least bit worried about Silva's chances once those cage doors swing shut.
"Anderson has a lot of great teachers and a lot of great coaches," Seagal said in closing. "I'll give him as much time as I possibly can, but I really have faith in him and I think he's going to do well.
"I'm not a soothsayer or anything like that, but I'm kind of hoping and seeing a knockout in third round. That's what I'm hoping for, but we'll see. They're both great fighters. They both deserve a lot of respect."