UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (pictured) turned the MMA world upside down when he captured the title by upsetting Anderson Silva in July 2013.
He solidified his status as the game’s top 185-pounder by snapping Silva’s shin in two in their immediate rematch five months later. Weidman then outpointed Lyoto Machida seven months after that.
Then, the injures started piling up. First it was Weidman’s knee, then it was his hand, then his ribs.
Hard to believe, but Weidman has fought as many times as Silva has since their sequel … once. Keep in mind, Silva was out for 13 months rehabbing one of the most gruesome injuries ever suffered in MMA.
Weidman’s long-awaited scrap with Vitor Belfort has been postponed time after time, once was because Belfort was barred from taking testosterone replacement therapy, but showtime is (finally) nearly upon us.
Apparently, fans aren’t the only ones who were starting to lose patience. According to Weidman, UFC brass was close to arranging an interim title tilt fore Belfort and another opponent until “All-American” shook the injury bug.
“[UFC President Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta], they mentioned it to me on the phone, and I was kind of caught off guard with it,” Weidman said on Wednesday’s UFC 187 conference call of the UFC manufacturing an belt. “I started thinking, ‘What does it matter if they do an interim?’ Business-wise, they’ve got to sell the fight, but if one of those guys get hurt when do I get to fight again? I don’t want to wait, wait, wait too long.
“So, that was really the biggest issue because I was going to be ready to fight in May. If they had another fight that happened in May, they wouldn’t have been able to have me fight for the title. So, I’m glad things played out the way it played out because it’s giving me the opportunity to stay in the fight game and keep fighting and making that money.”
Injures haven’t been kind to MMA fighters, particularly its champions. Just ask heavyweight king Cain Velasquez, who hasn’t been seen since October 2013. White has been very critical of the “stone age” strategy Velasquez’s camp, American Kickboxing Academy, employees in getting their athletes ready for battle.
Weidman believes his wounds have been caused merely from bad luck, not necessarily because he trains too hard.
We’re just nine days out from UFC 187. Fingers crossed!