After an impressive victory over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175, Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman has his sights set on Vitor Belfort as his next opponent.
During an interview on The MMA Hour, Weidman reveals that his fight against “The Dragon” almost didn’t happen due to injuries he was nursing before the fight.
“I went through a two-day period where I was very nervous and it was really messing with my head, where I felt I was going to have to pull out of the fight because I couldn’t touch my thumbs or my fingers together. I couldn’t grab anything. I couldn’t squeeze a toothbrush, I couldn’t brush my teeth. I could do it with my right hand, but not my left. So you start wondering, ‘how I’m going to fight if I can’t do these little things?’ I was kind of scaring the crap out of myself.
I went to the doctor’s office and I got an X-ray and I was really hoping it wasn’t broken. It wasn’t broken so they did an MRI. So all day long I was waiting for results on that. I was really pissed off and depressed. How was I going to deal with is? It was a bad situation. Since it’s not broken, I’m not going to pull out, but how am I going to train these next two weeks if I can’t even touch my fingers together and I can’t punch? We come to find that it’s ligaments that were messed up, sprained. I got a cortisone injection which they told me it wouldn’t help much because it wasn’t inflammation. It really didn’t help.
But in a couple of days I was able to grapple, but I didn’t punch for two and a half weeks leading up to the fight. So I wasn’t going to pull out, if I was going to go through pain, I’d rather it be in the fight and figure it out from there.”
Wediman denied that the issues affected his performance at UFC 175 and was quick to give credit to Machida for having “championship heart.”
“I can say that I had the worst camp of my life, but I fought well and I went out there and I did my thing. The camp wasn’t the best. I just think Lyoto Machida is that good. I think I performed good, but no, it don’t think it affected my fight at all.”
Weidman has been outspoken about Vitor Belfort needing to random drug testing before a potential fight, but stopped short of demanding the screening.
“I do want to fight Vitor Belfort. He’s the guy who’s been floating around the top for awhile now. He’s another legend. I’ve kind of grew to enjoy fighting legends that I got into the sport watching and admiring. Obviously he has his drug test issue going on. I hope somehow he can figure it out and we can get him licensed and, I really don’t know how that’s working. But that’s the guy I do want to fight.”
As for other potential opponents if a Belfort fight does not materialized, then the winner of the upcoming Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souzacould fight could be a possiblity.