In eight days, Chris Weidman looks to defend his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight belt against Anderson Silva at UFC 168: "Weidman vs. Silva 2." He won the belt by finishing Silva in the second round of their first meeting, an accomplishment that put the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on notice.
That win ensured that Weidman will forever be known as the man who ended "the Spider's" incredible run through the UFC and in the discussions for the "Baddest Man on the Planet."
But there was a time when Weidman wasn't the toughest man in the room. As he described in an interview with Bobby Razak, a lot of his toughness was earned after a childhood of bullying. David St. Martin of MMA Fightingprovides the transcription.
"I grew up in a decently tough neighborhood," says Weidman. "I grew up getting bullied and fighting a lot. My brother was probably one of the toughest kids from my neighborhood and he didn't make it easy on me. He made sure I was getting beat up as much as possible growing up. If he wasn't beating me up, he was making his friends beat me up. He threw a 10 pound weight on my head because I wouldn't get him a cookie. Split my forehead open pretty good."
Weidman, who suffered a torn labrum, torn rotator cuff and an AC joint separation preparing to face Tim Boetsch last November, still claims nothing compares to a day he flipped his bike attempting a jump back in the old neighborhood.
"Did a flip, landed on my shoulder, broke my collarbone totally clean. Clean off. My brother, he didn't believe it was broken, so he made all of his friends line up and punch me in the arm and told me I'd be crying if it was truly broken. After I got punched by everybody, it was the worst thing I ever went through."
"Those are just a few memories of what I've been through in my life, things I've had to get through. I think any type of setback you have, any tough time you've got, getting through it is what makes you who you are. It makes you a tougher person. I think whatever you've been through in your life makes you a tougher person. I'm very grateful for the background I have, every tough situation I've been through because it's made me who I am."
With a lot of the time and energy spent these days on anti-bullying campaigns, it makes you wonder what kind of fighter Weidman would have become had he not have had to deal with an older brother who constantly beat him up. There is something to say about the mental toughness it takes in order to get through such an ordeal.
Weidman looks to defend his belt in the main event of UFC 168. The card airs on pay-per-view.