Contract dispute stopped UFC contender Chris Weidman from signing with Bellator in 2011

Matt Kaplowitz

Although currently slotted to challenge Anderson Silva for the UFC middleweight title, Weidman recently reflected back to a time when he almost signed with Bellator. His story could have been much different were it not for a legal-savvy uncle.

Right now, UFC Middleweight Chris Weidman is on the cusp of the biggest opportunity of his career. After going undefeated in nine professional fights, he's scheduled to face the #1 ranked P4P fighter in the promotion and 185 lb. champion Anderson Silva in July at UFC 162. However, just a couple short years ago, he was broke and anxiously awaiting his big break.

He got that break in 2011 when he stepped in to face Alessio Sakara at UFC On Versus 3. According to a recent article from the New York Post, if not for the wary eye of his uncle though, things could have been much different for Weidman. Just a couple weeks before "The All American" signed with the UFC, he was ready to sit down with his family for a celebratory meal in honor of the multi-fight deal he was about to sign with Bellator. But, when his attorney uncle went to give the contract a final read-through for formality's sake, he saw a clause that could allow the promotion to hold on to him for up to 3-4 years opposed to the agreed-upon 2 years.

After seeing the clause, a disappointed Weidman refused to sign with Bellator. As luck would have it, he got the call from the UFC just 2 weeks later and has capped off his 5-fight win streak with 2 consecutive top-10 wins. Bellator chose not to comment on the situation.

Bellator is currently involved in a legal dispute with their former Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez over the matching clause in his contract. They've had a history of issues with many fighters including Dave Herman, Roger Hollett, and Tyson Nam.

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