Long before making his mark in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Chris Weidman had dreams of playing hockey professionally.
Weidman is currently on the UFC roster and has even captured middleweight gold during his time with the promotion. While he has been in a rough stretch going 1-4 in his last five outings, no one can take away what he’s accomplished thus far. There may also be time for the “All American” to bounce back.
Chris Weidman Had NHL Dreams
Weidman spoke to MSG Networks and revealed that he once wanted to try out for the New York Islanders, an NHL team. He also recalled the time he realized he wasn’t going to get to the level he needed to be at (via Bloody Elbow):
“When I was deciding if I was going to do mixed martial arts, I had just tried out for the 2008 Olympics for wrestling. But I got injured before the trials and I was at a crossroads whether to start MMA or do the wrestling world teams in between and then try out for the Olympics in 2012. I had then just met an Islanders players out somewhere and it sparked a memory. I haven’t played hockey since 6th grade, but I remembered that I was really good at it.
“So I thought I could figure out mentally and physically how to get that back. So I said I’m going to try out for the Islanders. I bought all this hockey equipment and thought it would maybe take about 6 months until I’m ready to compete with these NHL guys. So I went down to the rink and there were a bunch of high school kids playing a pick-up game. I got on the ice with them and quickly realized it was going to take way more than 6 months to be Islanders caliber. It was a rude awakening. This is going to take awhile. So that was the end of my hockey career and then I got into fighting.”
Weidman’s last bout was back in Nov. 2018. He suffered a knockout loss to Jacare Souza. Weidman underwent neck surgery earlier this year and a time frame on his return to the Octagon is unknown.