UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will face former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold in the co-main event of UFC 194, and he’s already ramping up the trash talk a bit. The two men have had a friendly rivalry for a while now, so it’s not surprising that the chatter is coming quickly after the fight was announced. As a guest on The MMA Hour this week, Weidman stated that his opponent might be a little bit insecure (via MMA Fighting):
I’m excited to go out there and just really run through Luke. I just really cannot imagine myself losing to him. I know he’ll talk the same way, but I think he’s just kind of faking it. I don’t think he really believes he can beat me, but he knows what to say.
“These guys know in the weight (class), I think they’re starting to get it. And he’s one of the guys who knows. I think he’s a little insecure about himself, and I feel like that’s why he has to pump his chest up all the time and go a little overboard. I think he’s just insecure and I think he knows what’s coming. I think he’d much rather be fighting anyone else besides me.”
Weidman has defended his title three times since capturing it from Anderson Silva in 2013. Rockhold was the Strikeforce middleweight champ in 2011-12, and has won four out of his five UFC fights to date. Basically they rose up through the ranks together, and Weidman understands the parallels. He feels like an emphatic win over Rockhold would make a major statement:
“We came up, we were both prospects together around the same time. I was usually No. 1, he was always kind of No. 2 or No. 3 coming up. And I know he’s had his eye on me.
“This is not a fight that I can allow to go the distance with the judges. I have such a great opportunity here to run through him and truly make, I think, more of a final statement in this division. He’s beaten a good part of the division. I’ve beaten a good part of the division. I think after this fight, the question marks are gone. And I think it’s going to be a huge part of my career, a huge part of my legacy, this fight. I know that, and I just have to run through him. Absolutely run through him.”
UFC 194 goes down on December 12th in Las Vegas. The headliner will see Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor fighting to unify the UFC featherweight championship.
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