Lyoto Machida is a former UFC light heavyweight champion. He’s defeated some of the top fighters in the world, and will get the chance to add another name to that list this Saturday night at UFC 175.
One person who believes Machida has the tools to take the middleweight title from Chris Weidman is FOX Sports 1’s Karyn Bryant.
For Bryant, the fight has all the makings of a Hollywood tale, with Machida defending the honor of his fallen teammate, Anderson Silva, and becoming just the third person to hold UFC titles in two weight classes.
“It’s Brazil vs. USA, which is always a trip in Vegas,” said Bryant, during a recent interview with FightLine. “I like the storyline of the fight. The belt could go back to Brazil with somebody so tight with Anderson winning it back. It’s a tricky fight for Chris.
“And while Lyoto would be a good champion again, it’s Chris Weidman. Clark Kent. The Fourth of July. That is safe money right there. It’s just a great fight, a compelling fight.”
Weidman defeated Silva a year ago on the UFC’s annual summer holiday card, and followed up with another stoppage win over “The Spider” to close out 2014.
Bryant feels Machida’s shown improvement since dropping down from 205 pounds to 185, along with “becoming even faster.
“He’s been working on his takedown defense and is already hard to take down,” Bryant said. “Chris is a fantastic wrestler who can keep most people down. But to beat Lyoto, you have to catch him. Gegard Mousasi told me he was so confident and thought he had Lyoto figured out, but once they got inside the cage, he throws you off and gets you frustrated.”
For Weidman, he continues to develop into one of the top fighters in the world. Bryant learned even more from him during filming for an episode of “UFC From All Angles.”
“I didn’t know much about his vibe or his mental game before that,” she said. “He is a very, very, very confident man. He truly doesn’t believe anybody can beat him and he isn’t scared of anybody.
“He has the belt, so he’s comfortable. He knows how good he is and believes he can win. That’s what makes this such a great matchup.
“I just have a feeling that the middleweight title could change hands (Saturday night).”
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jason Silva