Mixed martial arts is simultaneously beautiful and barbaric. Just ask Chris Weidman. The man who created history and blew away the MMA world, by beating the seemingly invincible Anderson Silva, who was left a bloody mop in front of his home crowd.
The pressure of expectations has never seemed to burden the former Middleweight champion; at any rate, he did not let on, even if it did. After doing well to contain Yoel Romero for two rounds, Weidman appeared en route to a cherished win on a groundbreaking night.
That was before he was atomised by what he calls a “Cuban missile” from the Olympic, silver medallist. Weidman, on a much-needed and deserved holiday, after the heart-stopping loss, spoke to Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour. He admitted that his split-second lack of attention cost him the fight:
“I just felt like there’s no way I’m losing. If I win this third round, it’s over. And I shot a takedown. If you watch, if you’re a technical person in the MMA game, when you fight a southpaw, you always put your head to the side of his front leg.
“You never go to the back leg. And every one of my takedowns I hit in the fight was to his front leg, my head to the outside of his front leg, which stays away from the danger of a knee or a heavy left hand. And the one time I shot to the wrong side, which I drilled a million times not to do, he came up with that knee,” he added.
Weidman received ten stitches for the slash on his temple, three of which were dealt by his own knee as he crumpled to the floor. Thankfully, there wasn’t a concussion, and Weidman didn’t have to be rushed to a hospital.
On the podcast, Weidman takes the blame for teammate Stephen Thompson coming up short in his title fight against Tyron Woodley as well. The 32-year-old was penitent when he said that “Wonderboy’s” focus must have been off-balance, after witnessing a close friend dealt a gruesome fate.
Another worrying detail to note is that a similar, momentary mistake is what led to Weidman losing the 185 lbs belt to Luke Rockhold. In the fight, Weidman attempted a very uncharacteristic and lazy spinning kick that allowed Rockhold to take him down and carpet bomb him with fists, signalling the beginning of the end.
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