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chris weidman

For Chris Weidman, there remains one goal out there left to be accomplished.

Weidman scratched off his first career goal when he stunned the MMA world and knocked out Anderson Silva, becoming the UFC middleweight champion. He proved it was no fluke when he defeated Silva in the rematch.

Now, with pro MMA getting closer and closer to becoming legal in New York, Weidman might be able to achieve his second goal.

“There are two things I envisioned when I got into this sport,” said Weidman, during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “Winning the belt and fighting in Madison Square Garden.”

Before any of that can take place, though, Weidman will meet Vitor Belfort later this year. The two have been on a collision course for several months, with scheduled bouts being delayed for numerous reasons.

While the delays have been troubling, Weidman has remained focus on the task at hand.

“I have these goals, things I’ve envisioned,” he said. “I want to clear out my division and become the best of all-time. I’m very motivated not to lose and to shut up the doubters.”

Weidman and Belfort have had several disagreements over the past year-plus, but that doesn’t mean the champion has no respect for the former champion.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” he said. “When you watch his fights, he’s a technician on his feet and on the ground. I’m going out to dominate him.

“His biggest thing is his stand-up. I’m not afraid of him. I’m not sure how it’s going to finish, but I’m definitely going to finish him.”

ufc 189

Rory MacDonald is never one to take the bland and vanilla approach to press conferences.

MacDonald, who challenges Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title at UFC 189 this July, went very detailed when asked to describe himself during the UFC 189 World Tour recently.

“I compared myself to a silver-back gorilla and a lion, a cross-breed with a little bit of a bunny,” he said. “Gorillas are powerful and have a position as a leader, a lion for its heart and a bunny for its love.”

Back in 2013, MacDonald (18-2) lost via split decision to Lawler, but has rebounded with three straight wins. Lawler claimed the title from Johny Hendricks last year.

“The fight with Robbie is going to be the biggest fight of my career,” he said. “I’m more focused than ever and I’m hungrier than ever.

“I am prepared for the hardest fight of my life and I feel confident and strong-minded. I definitely learned a lot from my last fight with him.”

MacDonald, who fights out of the Tristar Gym in Canada, added that he will “have a much better mental approach in this fight and will be giving Robbie the respect he deserves. I don’t think I adequately gave him the respect he deserved last time, and I paid the price for it.”

ufc 189

For Robbie Lawler, the idea of being UFC welterweight champion is one he’s thought about for years.

But that doesn’t mean holding the title will change “Ruthless” one bit.

Lawler will defend his title at UFC 189 against Rory MacDonald. He improved to 25-10 this past December with a split decision victory over Johny Hendricks that netted him the title.

“I’ll fight in the streets,” said Lawler, during the UFC 189 World Tour. “I’ll fight anywhere. I’m a fighter and that’s what I do.”

Lawler has picked up three straight wins and is 6-1 in his last seven overall, losing only a decision to Hendricks last year. In 2013, he earned a split decision over MacDonald that catapulted him into the title fight with “Bigg Rigg.”

“Rory is from one of the best camps in the world,” he said. “I need to mix it up. I have to be smart and strategic, but I’m going to do what it took me to get to this point.

“I’m going to keep working hard, training hard and keep my belt. When the Octagon door closes, I will be ready to fight.”

ufc 189

Conor McGregor has finished each of his last three opponents, including two inside of the first round.

Jose Aldo, McGregor’s opponent at UFC 189 and the reigning featherweight champion, has recorded just two finishes since signing with the promotion in 2011.

That hasn’t gone unnoticed by “Notorious.”

“As far as I am concerned, he is a coaster,” said McGregor, during the World Tour. “He has not finished anybody. He only has one legit finish. When I hit, they fall.

“When he hits, they don’t. He has 25 minutes to hide that chin from me. He hasn’t stopped anybody in five years, how is he going to stop me?”

Both of McGregor’s career losses have been via submission, with the last one coming in 2010. He’s stopped 11 of his opponents since, pushing his overall record to 17-2.

Some have wondered if all the hoopla surrounding the Irish fighter is staged to create talk and interest.

“There’s no character,” McGregor said. “That’s who I am. I’ll speak the truth and have a little fun also. Whether there are cameras here or not, I’m still the same.”

McGregor’s topped Dennis Siver, Dustin Poirier, Diego Brandao, Max Holloway and Marcus Brimage over the last two years, and each time, it has appeared as if his opponent is psyched out before the bout starts.

“When you sign up to fight me, it’s a whole different ballgame,” he said. “It just swarms people. They start shrinking in their seat. Their eyes start watering. They bottom lip starts quivering.

“They are fighting McGregor now; I feel them crumble every time.”

ufc 189

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has withstood the challenges of Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Chan Sung Jung, Ricardo Lamas and Kenny Florian.

Does he believe what Conor McGregor possesses makes him the one to take him down?

Not really.

Aldo and McGregor, who are on a whirl-wind tour to promote their UFC 189 main event, have gone back-and-forth countless times already. The Brazilian, who is the only person to hold the UFC 145-pound title, doesn’t see much of a threat before him.

“He is not as good as he things he is,” Aldo said, during a stop in Rio de Janeiro. “His talk is what got him here. He’s just another one in the way.”

Despite his perfect Octagon mark and 10-year unbeaten streak, Aldo’s still been overshadowed when it comes to talk of the best of the best. He believes, though, his opportunity is one that will help make him a household name.

“I think this is going to be the biggest fight in UFC history, definitely in this division,” he said. “I don’t speak English, so that is a problem. I feel that Ronda (Rousey) and Jon (Jones) are big because they can communicate. If you go to Brazil, I am bigger than both of them there.”

The media tour started in Brazil and has already made stops in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. And, with several more to make, Aldo feels the excitement already.

“We are in L.A. and not even to the middle of the world tour, and I can already feel all the buzz about it,” he said. “It’s not only the most important featherweight fight, but the most important fight of all time.

“Bring it on. I’m loving this. I’m here to do my job. I’m the only champion this division will see until I decide to retire.”

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