Roger Gracie may not be ready to bet that Chris Weidman is going to defeat middleweight king Anderson Silva at UFC 162, but he’s yet another fighter who’s saying Weidman poses a considerable threat to the champ’s reign. For a bout that four, five months ago wasn’t at the top of a lot of people’s ‘must see” lists, there’s seems to be a lot of interest and speculation about the match-up less than two weeks removed. It’s good to see, and it’s not just because the UFC marketing machine is selling people on the fight either.
Gracie recently spoke with ESPN.com, and when asked who he thinks will win the July 6th, battle between Silva and Weidman, the jiu-jitsu star stated:
I think [Weidman] is very, very dangerous. His grappling is at a very high level. He can submit any world-class grappler. I think he’s really that good. He can tap anyone, even me. It’s just a matter of if he can put Anderson in those situations. I would still put my money on Anderson but I think Chris Weidman is dangerous and can surprise him.
Now, yes, a cynic could argue that Gracie’s just pumping up his cousin Renzo’s student, but he isn’t predicting the upset like Georges St. Pierre or Frankie Edgar are. In addition, to have a second degree, BJJ black belt, Abu Dhabi champion say Weidman can submit “anyone, even me” is some pretty high praise. An All-American wrestler armed with those kind of jiu-jitsu abilities is a pretty terrifying thing.
Gracie (6-1), of course, is also scheduled to compete at UFC 162 and will take on former Strikeforce contender Tim Kennedy. Gracie has scored back-to-back wins over Keith Jardine and Anthony Smith now after being KO’d by “King Mo” Lawal. Kennedy (15-4), meanwhile is coming off a submission win over Trevor Smith after losing by UD to former Strikeforce champ Luke Rockhold. That’s an intriguing match-up.
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