For all intents and purposes, Chris Weidman is likely the greatest challenge to Anderson Silva's middleweight reign we've seen in years. With youth and athleticism on his side, plus a decorated background in wrestling and grappling, Weidman is said to have all the tools to dethrone the champion.
But Silva, well, let's just say he isn't worried.
"Weidman got good jiu-jitsu and great wrestling, but he needs work with his stand-up," Silva declared in his official UFC 162 pre-fight interview.
"Every fighter commits mistakes. I just have to look for the right opportunity to capitalize on his mistakes. Everyone has their strong points. Everyone has their weak points."
If fights were won based purely on confidence, then Weidman would already have this one in the bag. Not too long ago, the 29-year-old repeatedly promised to steal Silva's belt and then ever so graciously offer him a rematch at Madison Square Garden.
Though perhaps Silva's manager, Ed Soares, said it best.
"Once the Octagon door closes and you've got Anderson Silva standing across the ring from you, it's not the same game anymore.
"If it was easy, he wouldn't have 16 consecutive wins in the UFC."
Point taken. You can catch the rest of the interview down below in the Stew, but first, without any further ado, let's get to some headlines.
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Lamas off UFC 162. According to a report from Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight, Ricardo Lamas has been paid his show money and pulled from the fight card of UFC 162. Lamas is now eyeing a fight against the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung.
Ratner responds to Boston reports. UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner dismissed a report from the Boston Herald stating the UFC's August 17 event at the Boston Garden was in jeopardy of being cancelled. "The show will definitely be taking place," Ratner said, echoing the sentiment of an official statement released by the UFC.
Fight Master preview. Travel to New Orleans to visit the set of Bellator's Fight Master with a behind-the-scenes preview of Viacom's latest venture into mixed martial arts reality television.
Dos Santos on Velasquez. He may be Mr. Nice Guy, but Junior dos Santos is still willing to step up his trash talk game. According to MSN Esportes, JDS said Cain Velasquez "hits like a girl."
Bellator 96 weigh-ins. All 10 main card fighters met their required weight at Tuesday's official Bellator 96 weigh-ins, including light heavyweight headliners Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal and Seth Petruzelli.
Lombard moving down to 170. Former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard officially decided to cut down to welterweight, according to a report on UFC Tonight. Lombard hopes to meet Nate Marquardt in for his debut at the new weight.
And with that, the UFC 162 promotional push hits the ground running.
Speaking of Anderson Silva's striking, when's the last time you familiarized yourself with this little gem?
New Metamoris idea: BJJ in suits? BJJ in suits!
Props to Jakob Rögnvaldsson for the find.
What has Genki Sudo been up to? Well, allow me to show you:
"I actually consider myself very fortunate to have gotten into [MMA] when I did, because in five or ten years, man, there's going to be some real money and some real athletes -- guys that were just a tenth of a second away from playing pro ball [then say], 'Hey, man, I can do that.' And they probably can." -- Forrest Griffin, keeping it real.
You want a brutal regional knockout? Fine, but don't say I never did anything for you.
"King Mo" Lawal is not impressed with Seth Petruzelli's humor. (Click if it doesn't play automatically.)
KING VS. KING
THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
IT WAS WORTH A TRY
Looks like mark and I got bumped up to main card status. #ifc162— Tim Boetsch (@TimBoetsch) June 19, 2013
@BS_Red no— Tim Boetsch (@TimBoetsch) June 19, 2013
NICE GUY CONOR
Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 18, 2013
THAT GAME WAS RIDICULOUS
1st game of the @nba finals that I've watched this year...gr8 game, a fan of T.Duncan & Battier, can't deny LBJ's epicness tho...— Benson Henderson (@BensonHenderson) June 19, 2013
Watching the heat pull off this win— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 19, 2013
Or maybe not— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 19, 2013
I can't stand flopping on the floor in basketball or any sport for that matter. I hate people trying to fake fouls. So annoying— Chris Camozzi (@ChrisCamozzi) June 19, 2013
I like to imagine all the Bad Boy Pistons watching this game and throwing elbows at their TVs #StopFlopping— Stipe Miocic (@smiocic) June 19, 2013
Holy shit!!!!!! Freaking out here.... #GoSpursGo— Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) June 19, 2013
WE ARE HEAT AAL THE WAY #TEAMWORK— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) June 19, 2013
This is one of the best finals games ever.— Erik Jon Koch (@NEWBREED04) June 19, 2013
#allen u are the men heat— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) June 19, 2013
What a game I love sport— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) June 19, 2013
Like I was saying— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) June 19, 2013
Fucking Jesus Shuttlesworth....— Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) June 19, 2013
HEAT U GUYS ARE REAL FIGHTERS PROUD OF U GUYS— Vitor Belfort (@vitorbelfort) June 19, 2013
Can't believe the spurs blew that game but what a finish for the heat ! Damit #Ripcity— Ed Herman (@EdHermanufc) June 19, 2013
Sucks lamas got pulled from 162 think he is tough humble dude and I'm a fan— isaac vallie-flagg (@IKEVF) June 19, 2013
NOPE NOPE NOPE
Anyone seen one of these before? Dangerous? Location is Phuket, Thailand. It's huge! pic.twitter.com/Ns2wTpvguI— Mike Quick Swick (@officialswick) June 17, 2013
Tattoo time! #InkTherapy— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) June 16, 2013
The master at work. pic.twitter.com/cnIiny7dby— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) June 16, 2013
This tattoo is so good it might break twitter when I post it.— Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) June 16, 2013
Announced yesterday (Tuesday, June 18, 2013):
- UFC 164: Pascal Krauss (11-1) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (11-3-1)
- UFC on FS1 #2: Zak Cummings (15-3) vs. Ben Alloway (13-4)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day is a quick matchmaking forecast, courtesy of 1kaday: Fights to make after UFC 161
Here are some fights to consider at the UFC 161 card in Winnipeg, Canada:
Rashad Evans vs Glover Texeira
Dan Henderson vs Little Nog
Stipe Miocic vs Josh Barnett or Frank Mir
Roy Nelson vs Mark Hunt
If the UFC does in fact decide to sign Roy Nelson again. Because Dana has never liked him and the two never see eye to eye. Goes back to TUF 10.
Pat Barry vs Ben Rothwell
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.