Chris Weidman's UFC 187 Message: "You Better Join the Team Now ... I Love You"

Dan Hiergesell@DHiergesellFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2015

Chris Weidman celebrates after defeating Vitor Belfort in their middleweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 187 on Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press

There's no denying Chris Weidman his glory anymore.

His resume is simply too elegant and entrancing to dismiss the excellence he's portrayed inside of the Octagon since his debut in 2011.

Victories over Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida and most recently Vitor Belfort have given Weidman enough firepower in future discussions regarding the pound-for-pound best fighter in the game today.

With some of the best all-round skills we've ever seen enter the cage, the All-American is the quintessential example of a fighter who puts it all together when it matters the most.

Not to mention, he can take the best shots that infamous strikers like Belfort and Machida have to offer.

But even after his dismantling of The Phenom on Saturday at UFC 187, the middleweight kingpin felt inclined to give his past doubters one more shot to change their minds.

"Hey, stop doubting me," Weidman said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, originally reported by MMA Fighting's Marc Raimondi. "It's enough. Stop doubting me. You better join the team now. This is my last invitation. Join the team. I love you."

While sincere and on the side of friendly prodding, Weidman's message can be read loud and clear.

John Locher/Associated Press

With the remains of Brazil's very best MMA fighters ever scattered throughout his backyard, it would be ill-advised and unfair for the New Yorker to be doubted any longer.

Now, while Weidman himself has acknowledged this lack of validation in the past, three-straight UFC middleweight title defenses would suggest his self-recognition has burned out completely.

And rightfully so. The guy is one of the best all-around athletes to step inside of the Octagon arguably since Randy Couture.

"I'm for real," Weidman added. "I felt that after the Machida fight, there was a good group of people that started following, and there was believers. But with the time off, the haters just grew stronger and stronger, so I had to just come in here and do my thing again."

Surely, the haters have died down after such a dominating performance at the expense of Belfort, but it's likely people will still believe Weidman's game has significant holes.

While that has yet to be seen, the champ is due to encounter contenders like Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in the near future, which could very well dispel the myths of his weaknesses ever further.

"I'm not missing the Madison Square Garden fight, that's for sure," Weidman said after his Belfort fight. "That's all I really care about. Asking about 'Jacare' or Rockhold, honestly, it doesn't matter. I want to fight either one of them, but in Madison Square Garden. As long as I'm in that venue, I'm a happy man. That's a dream."

In any case, Weidman has once again proved he deserves to carry the 185-pound strap.

His invitation to join his team probably won't last long, so do everything you can to buy a seat on the bandwagon while it lasts.


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