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Chris Weidman prepares to face Brad Tavares in a middleweight fight during the UFC 292 event at TD Garden on August 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
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Chris Weidman: Honest Fighter, Honest Man

Middleweight Chris Weidman Feels Like He Has More In The Tank And Hopes To Prove It At UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield vs Fiorot

Ten days out from his return to the Octagon to face Bruno Silva on Saturday in Atlantic City and former middleweight champion Chris Weidman is putting labels on mailers, getting ready to send out the first batches of supplements from his new company Trinity Gold Nutrition.

“It's been something I've been trying to get done for over a year now,” said Weidman. “I've had 30 surgeries, my body's beat up, and pain has been a big part of my life. It's going to be a big part of my life. And a lot of my family members have arthritis and different pain and stuff like that. And I came across an Indian doctor that could formulate these natural herbs and shrubs into herbal capsules. And I took them and I couldn't believe it. I'm like, ‘I’ve got to get this to my friends and family; I’ve got to get this to the world.’ And so that's really what I'm trying to do is get this to people.” 

That means, with a pivotal fight on the horizon, the 39-year-old is taking time out of his day to pack these orders and get them out. He admits that he’s not growing rich on this venture, but that he’s all-in on helping others. That’s Chris Weidman, and always has been. Yet while the Long Island native has always been accessible and available during his time in the UFC, he’s also a person who isn’t one to chase after the cameras. So when a documentary came out on ESPN late last year called “The Return” it was a little surprising that he opened his world up, warts and all, for everyone to see.

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“If I could help people, if I could inspire with my story and through my pain and suffering, then that's a silver lining in there,” he said. “It takes away from my pain and suffering when I'm like, ‘Okay, you know what? I have pain and suffering.’ But it ends up becoming maybe an inspirational thing for other people who are going through tough times, hitting adversity. They could look at what I've been through and how I got through it and how life is going to be all right, and how to be positive and all that good stuff. So I look at it that way.” 

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The documentary covered Weidman’s recovery and return from the horrific leg injury that ended his rematch with Uriah Hall 17 seconds into that 2021 bout. Last August, Weidman made his first appearance since that fight, and while he lost a decision to Brad Tavares, just getting back to active duty was a triumph for one of the best middleweights of this era, even if there were more kinks to work out.

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“I'll tell you what, my leg feels so much better this time,” said Weidman. “Now that fight's over and I'm moving forward. Last time, I couldn't circle to my right. (Coach Ray) Longo would have me trying to circle and I just had to stop and be like, ‘Listen, anything circling to the right, I can't do.’ I was just having too much pain in the leg, going that one direction and I couldn't load. I couldn't put weight on my right leg and then push off it without crazy pain. But I was still able to get through and make it work. I still was doing good, but just not exactly what you want. But right now, my leg, I have no problem circling in any direction and really loading the leg. The leg has really come around. And honestly, a lot of that has to do with this Trinity Gold. It's been helping me so much.”

Chris Weidman | Top Finishes
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Chris Weidman | Top Finishes
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Are you trying to play salesman on me, Weidman?

He laughs, but he believes in what he’s selling and how he’s feeling. And the proof of that will be at Boardwalk Hall when he faces Brazilian knockout artist Silva, because you can’t lie to yourself, your opponent or anyone when you’re in the Octagon. That’s always been the beauty of the sport to Weidman, whose competitive drive is as strong as ever, even though he’s at the point in his life where he’s got nothing to prove. 

“I'm definitely a little crazy,” he laughs. “I'm super competitive and I love it, man. I love fighting. I love training. I just love the whole process of it. And I wouldn't be doing it if I felt like I don't have what it takes. I really do feel like I can still beat the best guys in the world right now. And that's why I do it. And obviously it's not going to last forever, but I don't want to live with regret. I still have more in the tank.”

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How much more? That remains to be seen, which is why when he is presented with scenarios where he wins on Saturday, gets a couple more, then gets a shot at regaining his title, he calms down a scribe eager to write the best comeback story ever.

Chris Weidman walks out towards the Octagon prior to facing Uriah Hall of Jamaica in their middleweight bout during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Weidman walks out towards the Octagon prior to facing Uriah Hall of Jamaica in their middleweight bout during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

“Let's see how I look in this fight,” said Weidman. “I could talk the talk and I could feel a certain way, but, at the end of the day, I’ve got to put the proof in the pudding. I’ve got to make it work. I’ve got to prove what I think. So it’s one fight at a time and we’ll see what happens. I go out there and I completely dominate this guy and I look great, there's probably some big fights on the horizon for me.”

If anyone’s earned them, it’s Weidman. But even if things don’t go his way on fight night, there’s a new business to run, a life to be lived with his wife and three kids in South Carolina, and, sadly, a new addiction to golf.

RELATED: Chris Weidman's UFC Career Highlights

“I never played golf on Long Island,” he reveals. “I actually hated golf. I was invited to all these different golf things in Long Island all the time. I never went, and if I did, I would just hang out. My wife bought me clubs in 2015. She wanted me to play golf, and I was like, ‘I'm not going to use these. I'm not into golf.’ Next thing you know, when I come down here, I can't put them down. Now my wife wants to take them away from me.”

Chris Weidman punches Brad Tavares in a middleweight fight during the UFC 292 event at TD Garden on August 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
Chris Weidman punches Brad Tavares in a middleweight fight during the UFC 292 event at TD Garden on August 19, 2023 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

But is the champ any good? Is this a post-fighting career in the making?

“I would say I'm pretty good for a guy who started during COVID,” he said. “I got up to a 14 handicap at one point. I recorded every one of my rounds and I play once a week. Monday’s my day where I play a round of golf in the morning. And it's kind of my chill day, my mental relaxation day. And I love it. It's a lot of fun. I would love to do some Pro-Am and stuff like that if I get good enough.”

New York, I think we lost Weidman.

“This is my new home now, but Long Island will always be a part of me,” he insists, and I believe him. That’s Chris Weidman, an honest fighter and an honest man. We need more folks like that.

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UFC Fight Night: Blanchfield vs Fiorot took place live from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 30, 2024. See the final Prelims & Main Card Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass