Riddum Exclusive: Daniel Woirin talks Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida


Riddum.com had a chance to speak with former Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida Muay Thai coach, Daniel Woirin, who recently moved from Brazil to the USA to join Dan Henderson's Team Quest. The French striking coach talks about Silva vs. Belfort ahead their much anticipated showdown this Saturday at UFC 126.

Riddum.com: Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are two of the fastest middleweights out there. Who will have the speed advantage come Saturday night?

Daniel Woirin: Vitor Belfort is more explosive and Anderson Silva is more precise. Speed wise, I would say they are about the same.

Riddum.com: How do you see their fight unfolding and what will be the key to victory for each fighter?

Daniel Woirin: Anderson is taller and has more weapons standing up than Vitor. He will probably work from a long range and try to frustrate Belfort with counters and defensive lateral movement, but also with the clinch in the short range when Belfort reduces the distance.

Vitor has great boxing and he will need to close the distance. He will also need to fight from mid-range and for that, he will have to set up his offenses by utilizing feints in order to avoid Anderson's counters.

If Vitor Belfort wants to win, he will have to provoke Anderson Silva and take risks.

But then again, this is all theory and anything can happen on fight night, especially with fighters of this calibre.

Riddum.com: Anderson Silva was hit cleanly in his last two fights, something we rarely see, and he faced a southpaw both times in Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen. Vitor Belfort is also a southpaw, but a much better boxer than them. Do you think it's a coincidence (the fact that were both able to hit him clean) or is this a flaw in the champion's defense?

Daniel Woirin: I think it's a coincidence. Against Belfort, he will remain a lot more focused because he knows the danger comes from his hands, whereas with Maia and Sonnen, he was surprised and didn't expect it.

Riddum.com: Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante stated that he never saw Belfort beat Silva in training. What are your thoughts about that?

Daniel Woirin: Training is training. We have so many examples of fighters who are good in training but change completely during the fight, and vice-versa. So [Anderson Silva beating Vitor Belfort in training] doesn't mean anything.

Riddum.com: You also coached Lyoto Machida at Black House. You seemed very disappointed by his second performance against Shogun. What did you think of his last fight with Rampage?

Daniel Woirin: The fight was very close, but to win, Machida should have taken more initiative, like he did in the third round. You can win a fight by backpedaling, but you have to remain active. Simply defending is not enough, you need to strike back.

Riddum.com: Who is the most talented fighter you trained and what makes him stand out against your other students?

Daniel Woirin: Definitely Anderson Silva. From every distance, he has a technical solution. He has an amazing technical background with surgical precision, and nature gave him the gift of size and a rock solid mind. He's the best without a question!

Riddum.com: Going back to some of Silva's previous fights - do you think the fact that Anderson wanted to avoid the ground against grapplers of the caliber of Thales Leites and Demian Maia affected his striking ability in these two fights?

Daniel Woirin: Anderson has a very good ground game but it is true that when you face fighters of Thales and Demian's caliber with amazing ground games, it does influence the way you fight and your strategy.

Riddum.com: Jon Jones will fight Ryan Bader this Saturday at UFC 126. What do you think about him?

Daniel Woirin: Jon Jones reminds me of Anderson Silva. He has all the tools to be a champion at 205 lbs.

Riddum.com: Thank you for your time Daniel, always a pleasure.

Daniel Woirin: Thank you. I would like to thank Cyrille Diabaté for his help, Dan Henderson and Heath Sims for the opportunity.


Feel free to check out Daniel Woirin's official website: DanielWoirin.com.




Related articles:

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MMA Pros analyse Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen for Riddum (video)

Riddum exclusive: Muay Thai Coach Daniel Woirin talks Machida vs. Shogun 2, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva

Riddum exclusive: Daniel Woirin's technical breakdown of Machida vs. Shogun

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