Aside from playing FIFA on X-Box, Chris Weidman isn’t much of a soccer fan. He doesn’t follow the sport or watch many games.
But he did watch the United States’ 2-2 draw with Portugal in the World Cup on Sunday.
“That was exciting,” the UFC middleweight champion said on The Morning Show. “For me, it felt like a loss because it looked like a big win was about to happen – like a Cinderella story. And for them to get scored on like that was just crazy.”
Weidman knows all about crazy. In fact, that might be the perfect word to describe the last year or so of his life, as Weidman went from virtual unknown to beating Anderson Silva and capturing the UFC middleweight title.
“It’s definitely been a whirlwind,” Weidman said. “Obviously one of the biggest changes is financially I’m in a lot better spot. So that was something I always wanted and I’m there. And obviously I’m now more popular. So those are probably the two biggest things. Wherever I go now, the eyes are on me. I can’t just go into a Starbucks, sit down, drink a coffee and get on a cell phone without realizing, ‘Wow, my life has changed.’”
Indeed, now that he is the champion, doors have opened. Weidman “could probably get (into) most events,” but the biggest indicator of his success just might be his Twitter activity.
“Demi Lovato tweets me,” Weidman said of the singer/actress with 23 million followers, “so she’s my new girlfriend.”
All kidding aside, Weidman (11-0) has a big fight coming up with Lyoto Machida (21-4). The two will square off at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on July 5.
Although Weidman is the champion – not to mention undefeated – he still has a lot of doubters. Tiki Barber and Dana Jacobson aren’t sure why, and neither is Weidman.
But shutting people up isn’t his motivation.
“One thing I’ve kind of realized is no matter how many times I win, stay undefeated or who I beat, I’m always going to have critics and doubters out there,” Weidman said. “So my ultimate motivating factor can’t be to prove those guys wrong because they’ll never end. So I’m training for myself and my family and just trying to work as hard as I can. But I’m going to try to dominate this guy. Anybody who’s doubting me out there, you’re going to be proved wrong.”
Win or lose, Weidman isn’t too keen on the idea of fighting Silva again – in part because he’s been there, done that. Twice, actually.
“It seems like people want to see that,” Weidman said, “To me, I’m not going to be asking for it. It’s almost like a bully move, in my eyes, to be honest with you. I fought him twice, we had four rounds in total and I beat him every second of every round. I knocked him out the first fight. In the second fight, I dropped him and ended up breaking his leg, which is obviously not the way I wanted to win the fight and is kind of a letdown. But I just know I’m the better fighter, so he’s not the guy I’m going to be calling out. I want to fight the best people, and Lyoto Machido is really going to be a good test. I’m excited about that.”