When a human being is overcome with emotion, particularly anger, it can drive that person to do reckless things. Don't tell that to reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
The 30-year-old entered his highly-anticipated title bout with his Brazilian challenger and No. 1 contender Vitor Belfort on the eve of a report, which stated that the dangerous knockout artist had elevated levels of testosterone prior to their showdown yesterday (Sat., May 23, 2015) in "Sin City." Weidman channeled his aggression and survived an early brush with defeat, after being subjected to crippling strikes, while in the clutches of the "The Phenom."
"It was a pretty much a conscious decision," said Weidman at the UFC 187 post-fight presser. "I'm in there to compete and to mentally and physically break them. That emotional was all real, but I put it aside for the fight."
However, "The All-American" displayed a granite chin and slick intelligence when he changed levels on a dime to record an ever-important takedown. From there, the fight was all Weidman. He quickly jumped into full mount and beat down on Belfort's face for a good minute, before referee Herb Dean called off the onslaught three minutes into round 1.
"Stop doubting me! It's enough. You better join the team now! This is my last invitation," Weidman exclaimed to the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena following his spectacular performance.
The victory gave Weidman his 13th career win and his fourth-straight ousting of a Brazilian. It is safe to say that he is the new Brazilian killer, not you Phil Davis.
On the eve of his Memorial Day weekend tilt, Weidman had stated how he wanted to take out the last remaining mixed martial arts (MMA) legend from Brazil in Belfort and move on with other adversaries in the UFC 185-pound division.
Well, mission accomplished Chris. The Matt Serra and Ray Longo-trained Long Islander is now three title defenses into what is shaping up to be a dominant tenure as the 185-pound champion.
Weidman's health will be a factor in how long that lasts exactly. His fight with the former UFC Light heavyweight champion Belfort was delayed twice after Weidman sustained injuries to his wrist and ribs in training. He also suffered a knee injury in Mar. 2014, which delayed a title defense against Lyoto Machida.
Typically, Weidman has fought twice a year. His career high in fight activity came during his initial year in the UFC, where he fought three times, including his first two which were short-notice tussles.
With Belfort in the rear view, Weidman will likely be pitted against former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Luke Rockhold next. From the looks of it, it would appear his next challenger is pretty confident.
Rockhold may not have his date with the champion set in stone if the red-hot Jacare Souza has anything to say about it. The Brazilian grappling powerhouse recently underwent surgery to repair meniscus damage and is planning for a title shot in September when he is expected to return, or a No. 1 contender's fight with Rockhold.
Either way, the UFC has their sights set on a show in The Big Apple on Dec. 5, provided MMA becomes legalized in New York by next winter.
"I'm not missing the MSG [Madison Square Garden] fight, that's all I really care about," said Weidman. "Asking about Jacare or Rockhold, I'll fight either one of them. I'm a happy man, that's a dream."
For complete results from UFC 187: "Johnson vs. Cormier," including play-by-play updates, click here.