UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman went a long way towards silencing his critics with a convincing five-round win over former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida in the main event of last night’s (Sat., July 5, 2014) UFC 175 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After dominating the first three rounds with constant pressure, striking, and takedowns, Weidman fell into a bit of deep water when “The Dragon” finally found a sense of urgency an began pressing forward with strikes of his own.
But Weidman fought through the adversity as a true champion does, coming back to blast Machida in the fifth and seal what will go down as one of his most telling victories in UFC. However, the road to it was necessarily all that smooth, as Weidman underwent arthroscopic surgery on both of his knees earlier this year, and face other nagging injuries in training to fight Machida. He told FOX Sports that this was his worst-ever fight camp because of that:
“To be honest, this was the worst camp I’ve ever had in my life. I didn’t hit pads for about two weeks; my hand was messed up. My knees need a break. Coming off this surgery, I think I kind of rushed it a little bit. No excuses; I went out there and got the W, but it was a very tough camp for me to get through.”
If that’s the kind of performance Weidman is going to put on after the worst training camp of his life, then it’s going to be an incredibly tough go for all of the talented fighters occupying the top rungs of the UFC 185-pound arena. It sounds like Weidman may need some time off to clear up some health issues, but for now his work is done.
Is Weidman simply trying to justify that fact that he didn’t finish Machida as he claimed he would, or did injuries prevent him from putting on what would have been a more dominant performance over “The Dragon?”