Matt Serra backs Chris Weidman’s UFC middleweight title shot call for Anderson Silva

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Uncategorized
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Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra sees a future champion in 185-pound pupil Chris Weidman. 

Of course, the New Yorker is biased toward Weidman. But as the only fighter to defeat Georges St-Pierre – despite 10-to-1 odds – in the last eight years, Serra’s ability to spot long shots isn’t something to be taken lightly. 

He believes Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) has what it takes to snap Anderson Silva’s historic streak of 10 straight title defenses and 15 straight UFC wins. 

Serra has considered Weidman’s championship potential for a long time. Weidman’s emphatic second-round knockout of Mark Munoz at UFC on FUEL TV 4 earlier this month solidified it. 

“If you go back, I did a video blog ages ago,” Serra told “He was getting ready for a local fight and I was getting ready for a fight with I think Chris Lytle or something. I said, ‘This kid’s gonna be champ one day. You’ll be watching these video blogs saying, ‘Hey, I said it.’ It’s not that I’m a genius. I’m no Nostradamus. I just think this kid is that talented. 

“When he’s up here saying he wants Anderson Silva, he’s not doing it for just a paycheck. He’s doing it because he truly believes he can beat and finish Anderson Silva. He has the same approach to sparring, to rolling. He wants to – you want to spar with this guy, this guy’s tough – he wants to feel it. I believe he will be champion.” 

Styles make fights, and Weidman’s Serra-Ray Longo inspired game poses trouble for even the most dangerous opponents like Silva, who has finished 12 of 14 combatants in the octagon, according to Serra. Judging by the two men to find some success against “The Spider,” Travis Lutter and Chael Sonnen, Serra feels more comfortable in claiming Weidman could not only beat Silva – he can stop him. 

“Chael is similar in a sense to Chris,” Serra said. “Chris is just a little younger and he’s a stud. Submission wise, he’s a freak. You’re talking about a kid who went to Abu Dhabi [Combat Club grappling tournament] after six months of training, and he’s battling it out with black belts over there. He’s that good. He really is. For people to not think so, or think maybe he’s not ready, look what he’s done so far. Look at the guys who Mark Munoz fought.” 

Even Serra was surprised by Weidman’s dominance against Munoz, who had his four-fight win streak end with his first stoppage loss at 185-pounds. Shut down in the first round by ground control and submission attempts, Munoz’s end came via right elbow followed by uncomfortable punches on the mat. 

Witnessing the grappler score the knockout furthered Serra’s confidence that not even he knows what the “All-American” is capable of doing on fight night. Aside from respectable veteran Michael Bisping, Serra is at a loss for who is more deserving than Weidman to challenge Silva next. If observers were impressed by Weidman versus Munoz, the Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt expects there is still plenty for Weidman to bring to the table that makes him a viable contender, or if he’s right, champion. 

“That’s two rounds. If he’s ever put in a bad position, he can persevere. You didn’t really get to see that. The closest you got would be the [Demian] Maia fight because he had no gas tank. He had no training for that fight. That alone speaks for itself,” said Serra. “He got the ‘W,’ but he might have got some criticism because he looked a little flat and this and that. What do you expect? That’s how you look if you don’t train. You jump off the couch and took a fight. He manned up and he did it [on 11 days notice]. This is what he looks like when he has a camp, you know?” 

Serra insists his 28-year-old student asserting he’s the man to dethrone the middleweight kingpin isn’t Weidman being cocky. Then Serra adds a dash of East Coast brag to the recipe the Serra-Longo team can cook up opposite Silva, nine-years Weidman’s elder. 

“It’s the circle of life like ‘The Lion King,'” said the 38-year-old, pointing out age could be a factor. “I’m an older guy; I’ve been in the game a long time, me and Longo. Longo worked 1,000 corners, including mine. He brought me up to the championship. In this game, experience is just so crucial. Not just as fighter, but as corner guy, as a coach, as a trainer. You get a guy as talented as Chris and you get some guys who think they know what they’re doing, it’s a recipe for a good thing.” 


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