Originally scheduled to UFC 173 on May 24, the title fight was postponed to July 5 after the undefeated champion had to undergo surgeries on both knees. Machida has six more weeks to prepare, but he felt ready to go at the end of the month.
“The extra time to train was good, but at the same time it was not,” Machida told MMAFighting.com. “I was training hard and would be ready to fight in May even though I got the offer with two months’ notice, but I will use the extra weeks to work even better and get in there stronger.”
At 2-0 since dropping down to middleweight, with wins over Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi, “The Dragon” is confident that his takedown defense and stand-up weapons will be enough to give Weidman his first professional loss.
“He has a good wrestling game and hits hard,” Machida said. “He has a good cardio but I believe a lot in what I do and in my work. I believe in me.”
With a powerful grappling background, Weidman will go for takedowns at UFC 175, and the Brazilian doesn’t expect an easier night since the champion had to go through knee surgeries.
“As a champion, I know he would never take risks if he really didn’t need it,” he said. “I don’t think he will be in disadvantage because of the surgeries. He wouldn’t risk his title, so I believe he will be 100 percent ready.”
Weidman is coming off a pair of wins over Anderson Silva, arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the history of the UFC, but Machida believes he has found a way to beat him.
“I sure do (know how to beat him),” he said, “but I won’t tell you how now [laughs].”