Sunday, March 13, 2011

Top Prospect Chris Weidman Battled Through Broken Rib to Win UFC Debut

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Chris WeidmanJust four fights into his pro career, Chris Weidman got the call that nearly every mixed martial arts fighter hopes for: a chance to fight in the UFC. At the time, though, Weidman happened to be hurt, still recovering from a fractured rib. The fight -- a chance to perform on the main card against veteran Alessio Sakara -- would be in just 18 days.

Needless to say, it wasn't the best of timing, particularly for a highly touted athlete who many expected to wow onlookers from the beginning. In fact, on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Weidman told Ariel Helwani that he was "in my underwear and fat" when the call came in.

"It definitely wasn't the opportunity I imagined," he said. "I always saw myself getting enough fights that the UFC wanted to have me, I could fight on undercards and work my way up."

With a golden ticket dangling, though, turning down the fight seemed impossible. Weidman accepted the invitation, prayed for the best regarding his rib, then went out and bloodied Sakara in a unanimous decision win during last week's UFC on Versus 3 event.


Dave Gomez Keith Hackney Matt Hamill Volk Han Joachim Hansen

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