Chris Weidman: ‘I don’t know if Luke Rockhold is my toughest challenge’
This weekend Chris Weidman will defend his belt against Luke Rockhold. However, Weidman is not sure that he is the toughest opponent he ever faced.
“In my head and all due respect to Luke, but if you were to put on paper you know, Anderson Silva versus him or Lyoto Machida versus him, just in the striking department, you’d probably say that Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida have better striking. If you were to put Demian Maia or you get Vitor Belfor in there, but Demian Maia with jiu-jitsu, he’s going to have better jiu-jitsu,” Weidman said on a recent UFC media conference call.
“So on paper in every area, I’ve fought better wrestlers, you know, Mark Munoz, so on paper if you take out every category he’s in. But I do believe that Luke is better in the other areas than some of those guys.”
Weidman sees Rockhold as a “jack of all trades” and while that may not give him the striking prowess to feel superior to a fighter like Silva on the feet, he has a lot of other ways he could still conceivably win the fight.
“You know, I think he’s more well-rounded,” Weidman said. “I think he has better wrestling than Machida and better jiu-jitsu than Machida. I think he has better wrestling and jiu-jitsu than Anderson Silva, so he definitely brings a different element to the game that I’m prepared for, and that’s different than a lot of guys I’ve fought. But if you were to break it down one element at a time, I’ve seen it all.”
“I don’t know if he’s the toughest challenge I ever had, only on Dec. 12 we’ll be able to find that out, but he definitely is the toughest customer for me at the time,” Weidman said. “I think with what we have in the middleweight division right now, so I’m taking him very seriously and this is, for me, I prepare as if it’s the toughest guy I’ve ever fought every single time.
“And the biggest fight of my life, this fight means everything to me and I take them seriously.”