Article

Weidman Enjoying Moment; Belfort Believes

LAS VEGAS

Chris Weidman was in a very good mood Wednesday afternoon. He kissed a baby, smiled and waved at the crowd who came to watch him work out at MGM Grand, then led fans in singing happy birthday to his head coach, Ray Longo, who turned 57.

Four days from a fight to defend his middleweight championship, Weidman was all grins.
 

“I’m just enjoying it, man,” he said later. “This is what I love to do. This is like breathing for me. This is the best time in my life right now.”

It should be. Weidman (12-0) is a heavy favorite to defeat No. 3-ranked Vitor Belfort, who hasn’t fought since November 2013. After twice defeating Anderson Silva, once by knockout, Weidman believes fans are now acknowledging how good he is.
> READ: Cormier-Johnson Open Workout Story | Cowboy Cerrone | Anthony Johnson Strikes Back | Daniel Cormier's Second Chance | Fighter's Take: Cormier vs. Johnson

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 20:   Vitor Belfort holds an open training session for fans and media at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on May 20, 2015 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)“I knew I was the favorite,” he said. “I didn’t know I was 5-1. I’m not very surprised. I think people are starting to get it. I’m here to have a good time, but I’m here to hold the belt and create a legacy for myself.

“I’m here to become the greatest of all time. I’m here to retire undefeated. I have goals for myself. I have dreams, and no one is stopping me.”

Belfort (24-10) has accomplished much of what Weidman wants. He previously held the UFC light heavyweight title, began his MMA career in 1996 and finally has his long-awaited shot at the middleweight belt.
> WATCH: Countdown to UFC 187: Weidman vs. Belfort

The fact he’s a sizable underdog doesn’t bother him.
 

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 20:   Chris Weidman holds an open training session for fans and media at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on May 20, 2015 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)“It depends on who you ask,” he said. “That’s the thing. Me and my team and my family, we are confident. I don’t gamble, I’m not a fan of gambling. If you believe, that’s the key. You’ve got to believe.”

Weidman said he doesn’t think Belfort’s long inactivity will be a factor. Belfort’s last bout was a first-round knockout of Dan Henderson 18 months ago.

“You could say I have ring rust,” Weidman said. “I’ve been out 10 months, I think, since my last fight. I’ve come back from long layoffs before and done amazing. I don’t put much into that.”
> WATCH: Chris Weidman - Singular Focus Part 1 | Part 2

Weidman has been pointing toward Belfort for a while, even to the point of putting a picture of his Brazilian opponent on his refrigerator at his home in New York.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 20:   Vitor Belfort interacts with the media at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on May 20, 2015 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)“It’s all about reminding myself,” he said. “Sometimes you wake up and you’re tired in the morning. You’re making breakfast and hanging out with your kids. It’s hard to go to work. To have that on my refrigerator for me and my family to see keeps my goals in front of my face and keeps me working hard.”

He said he expect to see an energized Belfort in the Octagon.

“I expect the toughest Vitor Belfort we’ve ever seen, a guy who’s been hungry to get this belt,” he said. “He’s been focused on me for a long time.

“I expect a tough guy coming after me, but there’s no way I’m leaving without the belt. There’s no way I’m not dominating the fight and putting a stamp on this division.”

Media

Recent
Watch music video featuring newly-released track from The Killers, “The Man". Legendary Floyd “Money” Mayweather faces all-time MMA great “The Notorious” Conor McGregor in an unprecedented event - live Saturday, Aug. 26 at 9PM ET/6PM PT on SHOWTIME PPV.
Aug 20, 2017
Check out Conor McGregor's final fight before he joined the UFC at Cage Warriors 51 on December 31, 2012 for the lightweight belt. Just like in the UFC he became Cage Warriors first ever two-division champion.
Aug 19, 2017
Watch Ray Borg defeat Chris Kaledes from their bout in 2015. Borg takes on Demetrious Johnson for the flyweight title at UFC 215.
Aug 18, 2017
Watch Demetrious Johnson defend his belt against Kyoji Horiguchi at UFC 186. Don't miss Johnson take on Ray Borg at UFC 215.
Aug 18, 2017