It’s been well documented that many professional fighters were picking Chris Weidman to upset Anderson Silva at UFC 162 on July 6. When Weidman did just that, it sent shockwaves throughout the mixed martial arts industry, but not all were that stunned with the outcome.
Weidman’s coach, Ray Longo, didn’t see Weidman’s knockout of Silva as an upset at all.
“With Weidman, anybody that’s been in the gym with him, or who has sparred with him or rolled with him, I don’t think one guy thought that was an upset,” Longo told MMAWeekly.com content partner Shameless Radio.
“This kid is for real. I think that’s why the pros were picking him. I think that grapevine was all over the place. The pros have a nice grapevine. I think GSP trained with him a little bit. He was at least in the room with him. Once one guy says one thing, it’s that whole telephone line; it starts going down the line. Anybody that’s trained or been in the room with him, this kid is a beast,” added Longo.
Weidman’s confidence leading up to the fight was that of a veteran and less like a fighter with nine professional fights taking on the greatest fighter in mixed martial arts history.
“Weidman was a four-time All-American. I think he went out for the Olympics. You don’t get to that level without being mentally strong,” Longo pointed out.
Experience wasn’t the only thing Weidman had to overcome to defeat Silva. Weidman had been out of action for a year prior to the Silva fight. He underwent shoulder surgery and lost his home in Hurricane Sandy and was in financial ruin.
Weidman stayed poised in the face of adversity. He was unfazed by the taunts, the antics and Silva’s mystique.
“I think it speaks volumes for who this kid is,” said Longo.
Weidman and Silva will rematch at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.