As some might know, I am a big Chris Weidman fan. I absolutely love the guy and I think what he’s achieved is a heck of an accomplishment and despite what the naysayers say, it was no fluke, he wasn’t lucky and it certainly wasn’t fixed. Weidman simply beat Silva at his own game and for all those that have derided “The Spider” for his antics in the ring on July 6th, they’d all be singing a different tune had Anderson won and won using the same tactics that he’s used in every fight he’s ever been in.
On that note, it was Chris’s hometown of Baldwin (Long Island) New York that got to welcome home their hero, today. The hometown crowd was so impressed with the “All-American” that they proclaimed it “Chris Weidman Day” in Nassau County. As if the event and day weren't enough, the County power structure (also) bestowed upon Chris a humanitarian award for his service to the community, post the hurricane "Sandy" disaster. As they gave him the honor, which was in the form of a belt and what I found funny, was how the men at the podium quickly took possession of Weidman’s real belt and began taking pictures of themselves holding it. As the men at the podium are part of the New York power elite, their glee at holding the belt is potentially a good omen for MMA legalization in the state.
In terms of Chris’s remarks to the crowd (which start at the 11:30 mark of the video), he was his usual humble, calm and articulate self. He graciously thanked the audience and made lite of the County giving him a “day” and said of it, that his wife hates it and that she “still makes (him) do things on his day.”
On the issue of MMA politics in the state of New York, Chris went out of his way to thank those members of the County executive who stopped by, as well as the lone state senator who was in attendance. In doing so, Weidman was not only speaking for himself as champion, but also as an ambassador of the UFC in the state of New York and in regard to the promotion’s struggles to have the sport legalized in the Empire State.
“MMA is not legal in New York and to have them supporting me and to have a day named after me is definitely a big push towards getting it legalized. Again, I thank you so much and I appreciate it.”
For those that love him, it’s worth the view. For those that hate him or think him a pretender-to-the-throne, it’s probably worth a pass. One thing is for sure though, an added bonus to Weidman being the 185 champ is a greater likelihood of MMA being legalized in New York and if for no other reason, then Weidman is “one of their own.”
On the issue MMA legalization in New York, I think Dana should take advantage of any window-of-good-will that may be open to him and before December 28th, for as Silva fans would surely tell him, that window will be closed come December 29th.