UFC middleweight sensation Chris Weidman is causing ripples in his division and with a razor’s edge to boot. That said, here’s everything you need to know about MMA’s latest rising star.
The 28-year-old combatant is slated to throw hands with fellow American Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4, knowing a victory will catapult him into the upper-echelons of the top five 185-pound title contenders.
Weidman hails from Baldwin, New York, and attended Baldwin High School where he achieved wrestling champion status at Nassau County and New York State respectively. It was at Nassau Community College that he first attained All-American prominence.
He would later transfer to Hofstra University and become a two-time Division-I All-American, hence the sobriquet “The All-American.”
Weidman, who also worked as an Assistant Wrestling Coach at Hofstra, eventually graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology as well as a Master's in Physical Education.
The lure of professional mixed martial arts only occurred to Weidman whilst assisting some fighters with their wrestling, and the rest is history.
Under the tutelage of Ray Longo and Matt Serra (Serra-Longo Fight Team), the 6’2” Weidman was able to hone his skills for the arduous and treacherous journey into MMA.
At 24, Weidman made his MMA debut in the Ring of Combat promotion, submitting Ruben Lopez via the Kimura lock. His next two outings resulted in TKO victories and the ROC middleweight crown. He had one more successful fight for the organization before the UFC came calling.
Weidman, also known as “The Hangman,” debuted for the Zuffa promotion in March of 2011 and was featured on the main card of UFC Live: Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann.
On the aforementioned night, he registered a unanimous decision win against Alessio Sakara. The co-main event also featured his next opponent, Munoz, who faced off against C.B. Dollaway.
A replacement for the injured Court McGee, Weidman then went on to garner Submission of the Night honors after locking in a standing guillotine choke on Jesse Bongfeldt at UFC 131.
At UFC 139, Weidman, who holds a BJJ purple belt and is also a 2009 U.S BJJ champion, took on and defeated Tom Lawlor via D’arce choke.
By then, some sections of the MMA contingent as well as the promotion's head honchos had begun to take note of this young rising star, and before Weidman knew it, he was plunged into the deep end of the shark infested 185-pound waters.
His opponent for UFC on FOX 2 was none other than BJJ wizard Demian Maia.
However, Weidman took the fight on short notice with little or no preparation. Despite being at a major disadvantage, he still managed to, well...take home the unanimous decision.
From thenceforth, his weight class knew he was a force to be reckoned with. The confidence and belief of this young man knows no bounds as was evidenced by this cheeky quip aimed at the reigning 185-pound king Anderson Silva:
“I think with a full camp I’d finish Anderson Silva” (h/t thegarv.com).
Presently, the sky is the limit for this rising star—a title tilt is in the offing, but first the All-American has to Edge out “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” that is Munoz.
Weidman has a daughter and cites his father as his ultimate hero.
Weidman defeated both Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis and Ryan “Darth” Bader during his amateur wrestling days.