Sometimes it pays to be patient. In UFC middleweight Chris Weidman’s (pictured) case, he’s going to get paid for being patient.
On Wednesday, it was confirmed Weidman will defend his belt against Vitor Belfort at UFC 187. It was the fourth time the tango has been announced due to prior postponements.
A TRT-powered Belfort was originally slated to challenge Weidman for this crown at UFC 173, but “The Phenom” was pulled from the bout after the Nevada Athletic Commission banished TRT. Weidman went on to successfully defend his title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in the meantime.
The 185-pounders were then set to headline UFC 181, but Weidman was forced to pull out of the December 6 card with a broken hand.
Third time’s the charm? I think not. Weidman pulled out of their UFC 184 appointment with a rib injury.
While Weidman doesn’t get paid to sit the sidelines, he will be rewarded when he comes back because Weidman and Belfort now find themselves on one of the deepest cards the UFC has hosted in quite some time.
Weidman, like his fellow UFC champions and a handful of big name fighters (it is unknown if Belfort falls in this category), gets a percentage of the pay-per-view buys for the shows he performs in.
UFC 173 featured a sub-par roster that didn’t get much attention. UFC 181 stung a little bit because the lightweight title bout between champion Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez were opening for Weidman vs. Belfort.
Weidman and Belfort had top billing at UFC 184, with bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingno serving as their co-stars. While Rousey is one of the UFC’s largest names, her matchup against Zingano isn’t garnering much buzz.
You know what shootout is generating heavy hoopla? Jon Jones vs. Anthony Johnson. Jones is coming off a positive cocaine test and Johnson just blasted Alexander Gustafsson to earn a crack at “Bones.” Johnson is arguably the most dangerous opponent the UFC’s most decorated light heavyweight champ has ever faced due to his one-punch KO power.
Weidman now gets to ride those coattails to a nice payday. “All-American” will undoubtedly score a bigger check as UFC 187’s co-main event than he would have as the featured attraction on the three previous PPVs.