Morning Report: Chris Weidman nearly signed with Bellator before last-second contract controversy - MMA Fighting

According to a new report from the New York Post, Weidman nearly signed a multi-fight contract with fledgling Bellator Fighting Championships back in 2010. Actually, "nearly" is an understatement.

Back then Weidman was just a 26-year-old "broke as a joke" prospect hoping to make enough coin to pay his bills, and Bellator had the best offer. As the story goes, Weidman had the contract in hand, ready to sign, with a dinner reservation for his family at Bryant & Cooper Steakhouse booked to celebrate. It was a happy moment; vindication for a risky decision. But fate works in strange ways.

Weidman's uncle is a lawyer, who at the last second asked to peruse the document one last time, just in case he missed anything. And that's when he saw it.

According to Weidman, Bellator officials promised the contract would be a two-year deal. What Weidman's uncle discovered, however, was a tucked away clause that potentially extended the contract's life to anywhere from three to four years, depending on certain circumstances.

"I felt like I was betrayed by them," Weidman said to the New York Post. ... "They never told me that. It was a little sneaky."

"I was so upset. I was so let down. I was excited to go to Bellator."

You already know how the rest of this story goes. Weidman spurned Bellator's offer, and soon after made his UFC debut as a late replacement for the injured Rafael Natal. Had Weidman put pen to paper, he likely could've found himself stuck in a similar situation as Eddie Alvarez, struggling to break away from Bellator's legal grasp as their middleweight champion.

"Everything happens for a reason," Weidman concluded. "Thank God I took my time and didn't just rush into it."