UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has won fights every way imaginable – from unanimous decisions to submissions to knockouts. But which one is his favorite?
“My favorite way is definitely just to end the fight,” Weidman said in-studio on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Not unanimous decisions. We’re crossing that one out first.”
The worst part about a unanimous decision isn’t necessarily putting the result in the judges’ hands; it’s simply going the distance in a fight.
“No matter what, if you go the distance, emotionally and physically and mentally, you’re so drained,” Weidman said. “Your body is going to be beat up. You might have a broken hand, a broken foot. Something is going to be wrong with your body. Now I fight five rounds. If you go five rounds, you’re going to have problems. You’re not going to be feeling good.”
Weidman (12-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) is hoping for a quick finish in his next fight. He faces Vitor Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC) at UFC 187 on May 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“He is a legend in this sport,” Weidman said of Belfort. “He was champion at 18 years old and now he’s 37. He’s been around the sport forever. He’s on a three-fight knockout streak. He knocked out really three top guys. He’s a jacked-up, explosive guy, a good athlete who’s well-rounded and experienced. But I’m going to beat him up.”
Whatever happens, it will have been a long time coming. The fight has been postponed twice, but at this point, it appears nothing will get in the way of this showdown.
“I’m ready to go, man,” Weidman said. “No injuries. My last fight (against Lyoto Machida) I fought with a broken hand and I couldn’t hardly hit. I actually couldn’t hit at all. I hit the pads in the locker room to warm up. I was like, I just hope when I get in there it’s not going to hurt because it was such a sharp pain in my hand. Thank God I got through the fight. But this time, I don’t have anything like that, so it’s a lot better for me.”
Weidman’s response prompted Andrew Bogusch, who was filling in as co-host for Brandon Tierney, to chime in with a very appropriate question: why does Weidman do this?
“I’m so competitive,” he said. “I just think it’s the absolute competition man can put themselves through. No matter where you go in the world, people know what fighting is. There’s always somebody that thinks they’re tough, and there’s always somebody who thinks they’re tougher. This is the absolute (best) competition. This is every form of martial arts there is that’s ever been created in the world – from the Bruce Lee tapes you watched as a kid, to watching wrestling, Olympics, judo, taekwondo. You put it all together and you see who the true toughest guys in the world are.”
Tiki Barber asked Weidman, 30, if he’s ever had people try to mess with him at a bar.
“I don’t look the most intimidating,” Weidman said. “So if they don’t know who I am, they could mess with me, but it hasn’t happened in a long time. About five years ago was the last time I got in a fight at a bar, and that wasn’t really a fight.”
As Weidman recalls, his friend – “a meathead football player” – got into a verbal altercation with a “bully-type juice head,” who, for whatever reason, came at Weidman.
“He threw a punch, I blocked it and threw him on the floor,” Weidman said, laughing. “And I didn’t punch him. All I did was, I kept slapping him and giving him noogies and I was being mean to him like, ‘Are you kidding me? How do you feel now?’ No one knew who I was at the time. I might have had one or two professional fights, but nothing in the UFC.”
Then the “juice head” came at Weidman again. Bad choice.
“It was like instant replay,” Weidman said. “He tries to punch me again, I throw him on the floor and I’m laughing at him. He’s trying to get back up, and I’m holding him down by his head. He had a bald head. That’s what I was doing – just kind of embarrassing him. It was hysterical.”
Since then, though, Weidman has told his friends to not start anything with anyone – unless they want to be the ones doing the dirty work.
“If we go out now, they just know I don’t have their back,” Weidman said. “(I tell them), ‘I don’t have your back. I’m not getting in trouble. I’m past that point in my life.’”