If there were still any doubts about whether or not the UFC middleweight champion was one of the best in the world, Chris Weidman put an end to all those thoughts tonight in the main event of UFC 175. Weidman won a hard fought 4 of 5 rounds on 2 of the judges scorecards and ultimately the unanimous decision over #1 contender Lyoto Machida.
Not only winning was Chris Weidman able to win the rounds in dominant fashion, but out-striking one of the best and most unorthodox strikers in MMA in Lyoto Machida. Weidman began to feel the rigor of a 5 round championship fight, going to the championship rounds for the first time in his career. Machida was able to come on strong after losing the first three rounds and effectively land left hands to the head and left kicks to the body of the champion—winning the fourth and putting some doubt into champion’s mind.
Chris Weidman would show the heart of a champion, mustering up the energy to win the 5th round by continue to hurt Machida on the feet and scoring a takedowns to seal the victory, defending his championship for a second time.
Confident in his striking, Chris Weidman gives credit to his coach, Ray Longo for the many hours of training over the years. While he planned to throw more kicks, Weidman revealed that he hurt his foot early on causing him to slow down.
“Thanks to Ray Longo I’m definitely confident standing. Kicks were definitely going to be apart of the game,” Weidman said. “It kind of sucked that in the first round I hit him on either his elbow or his knee checked it really good and my foot was killing me moving forward, so my kicks definitely slowed down and I wasn’t kicking as much.”
What made this all the more impressive was what Chris Weidman revealed at the post-fight presser, that he had his worst camp ever including ligament issues with his hand that prevented him from hitting pads two weeks before the fight.
“To be honest I think it was probably my worst camp ever, but we got the job done,” Weidman said. “For two weeks I haven’t been able to hit pads. Even in the locker room I didn’t hit pads, my hand got messed up two weeks ago. I had to go to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t broken, it was just ligament issues.”
“And my knee, I kind of started fast into camp and my knees were not where they should’ve been. But I pushed through and refused to make excuses. But if I had to be honest, this was my probably worst camp, as far as everything was going wrong, I had a lot of issues.”
As for what’s next for the middleweight champion? Dana White hopes that it’ll be Vitor Belfort, assuming he can get his business with the commission handled.