Things just got a little bit more personal between Lyoto Machida’s and Chris Weidman’s coaches.
Weidman and Machida are set to battle for the middleweight championship at Saturday night’s UFC 175 in Las Vegas, Nev., and the champion’s coach Ray Longo is confident his protégé will finish the challenger, since "The Dragon" has a "real weak chin".
"You can’t say Lyoto has a weak chin. That’s a lie," Machida’s muay thai coach Rafael Cordeiro responded in an interview to MMAFighting.com. "Lyoto fought and defeated bigger guys. He’s a world-class striker. He has the experience and the talent, and I say he will knock Weidman out.
"If Chris thinks he’s going there with that little hand and that he’ll simply take him down and lay and pray, he’s dead wrong. Lyoto will knock him out. When you fight the champion you have to dominate, leave no doubts."
Cordeiro, the former Chute Boxe coach who currently trains the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Rafael dos Anjos, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva at Kings MMA and Black House, believes that Weidman will run away from the stand-up battle at UFC 175.
"Absolutely. We will make him go for the takedown," he said. "Lyoto is ready for this type of fight, and he has great counter attacks. I’m a coach for a long time, and I’ve seen great athletes in great fights, and I feel this is Lyoto’s moment.
"I won’t underestimate Chris Weidman, but Mousasi is tougher than him. Mousasi is a brawler, and Lyoto fought five rounds standing against him. Lyoto will go straight forward, going for the knockout. Lyoto will knock Chris Weidman out."
Machida started to work full-time with Cordeiro as soon as he decided to cut down to 185 pounds in 2013, and the muay thai veteran says he looks better than ever.
"I like to work with combinations from different angles, defending and attacking, and that fits perfectly with Lyoto’s game," he said. "He’s more offensive now, he believes more in his own game now.
"This is my third camp with Lyoto, and I’m impressed with him," Cordeiro added. "He gave his life in training, has tons of experience, and he’s capable of absorbing what we teach and add to his game without changing his style. He has added more weapons to his game and he will use them against Weidman.
"It’s going to be an interesting fight. Lyoto will show that a new middleweight champion is coming."