Chris Weidman used his first UFC loss, which came in a middleweight title match against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, to better himself.
Though "All-American" was trounced via fourth-round TKO, by a man who fought to half of his abilities five months ago, his persistence paid off and he was awarded a rematch with Rockhold at UFC 199 in June.
Now that Weidman is more motivated than ever to reclaim the 185-pound belt and defend it in New York later this year, the Long Islander talked with the Inside MMA crew about how he's approaching the second Rockhold tilt.
"This is a do or die fight for me. I have to go out there and dominate him. This is my career on the line. This is everything. This is bigger than my Anderson Silva fights. I'm already starting my camp. I did a six-week camp last time and now I'm doing a 12-week camp this time. I'm just going to be very prepared."
Coming into his meeting with the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) staple, Weidman had won nine straight fights inside the Octagon, including three title defenses.
Whether his new approach to weight cutting failed him on fight night or not, the fact remains that he was outworked in the grappling exchanges and had no answer for the pressure striking of his counterpart Rockhold. It was a tough pill to swallow, but his corner didn't think of throwing in the towel during the one-sided contest.
With the spotlight as bright as ever, and a champion looking to put an even worse beating on him, is anyone so inclined to put money down on Weidman?
Check the early odds.
To see who else is fighting at UFC 199 click here.