Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman is a family man.
And it's hard to fight back emotions when talking about his support system, which is a major reason for his successful mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
Weidman recently sat down with Ariel Helwani for an intimate 30-minute conversation ahead of his upcoming title fight against Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 187, which takes place this weekend (Sat., May 23, 2015) inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was a difficult road to the top for "All American," with his pregnant wife holding down a full-time job and going to school, while he chased his MMA dream. Weidman admits to making just $15,000 and putting in long hours at the gym, hoping that all the hard work and sacrifice would eventually lead to a UFC opportunity.
In fact, Weidman admits that things got so dire that he almost signed with Bellator MMA because the rival promotion offered him a small -- albeit "life-changing" -- signing bonus back when he was a budding prospect on the regional scene.
But, a minor contract snafu derailed the Bellator MMA deal and Weidman, who was nursing cracked ribs at the time, was offered a short-notice fight against Alessio Sakara inside the Octagon.
The rest, as they say, is history.