Interviews

UFC Champion Chris Weidman is Ready for Battle

The undefeated middleweight champion will make his long-awaited title defense against Vitor Belfort.

weidman-posed

Undefeated UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman defends his belt for the third time at UFC 187 when he takes on No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort. 

On this hot spring day, the 30-year-old Long Islander has been up since seven o'clock making media rounds prior to his title bout with "The Phenom." Weidman and his training partner Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson have been riding together in a Cadillac Escalade for hours in New York City, before arriving at CBS Studios on the Upper West Side.

That’s where the Muscle & Fitness team intersect with the duo to talk training, future bouts and much more. Weidman was scheduled to face the Brazilian Belfort one year ago but the latter pulled out because of issues with the Nevada Athletic Commission. Then, following a successful title defense at UFC 175 against Lyoto Machida, the champ pulled out of two bouts with Belfort due to hand and rib injuries. 

"I'd like to fight more. I also want to make as much money as possible and to make as much money as possible you need as much promotion as possible," says Weidman. "Sometimes big fights take more time to promote."

Thompson, a burgeoning welterweight contender, watches his buddy make another media appearance, this time for CBS Sports.

"It's always funny watching Chris on TV," Thompson says. 

"My record for most interviews in a day was 30," recalls Weidman.  

But he's not complaining. The laidback Weidman exits the studio and enters the concrete jungle which awaits him. As we make our way over to the Escalade, which is parked ever so far away, Chris and I exchange thoughts on his teammates at the Serra-Longo Fight Team -- a couple of which he cornered at the UFC Fight Night in Newark, NJ last month -- before he eyeballs his driver. 

"Aljamain [Sterling], Al Iaquinta, Gian Villante, Eddie Gordon; all these guys are in the gym working their butts off to accomplish their goals of being a champion," remarks Weidman. "I just want the best for them."

As we get ourselves situated in the backseat, that's when the interview commences -- just as Chris reminds us that he gets carsick. Muscle & Fitness brings you this exclusive conversation as we tour The Big Apple with the undisputed UFC middleweight champion.

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