Bellator has been making Friday nights fantastic lately. I've become quite the fan of the return to their original time slot, and the action has been great over the last couple weeks. This past Friday saw some great finishes, one of which was by a guy who's been flying just under the radar.
Brent Weedman finished his opponent, Justin Baesman at around the three minute mark via a beautiful armbar submission. His return to welterweight seems to be suiting him well, and the time off he took to get himself in prime physical shape is bearing winning results. With his advancement to the next round of the welterweight tournament, he'll face off against Rick Hawn once again, and hopes to come out the victor in this match-up.
With Bellator's recent announcement that they have struck a deal with Fox Sports Latin America, there is a lot more potential to make stars and put eyes on fighters that otherwise aren't getting much exposure.To someone like Weedman, this could be a game changer when contract renewal time comes around.
In a recent MMA Sentinel interview, Weedman discussed whether he intends on making Bellator his permanent home, how he feels about Tito and Rampage disrupting the tournament model, and his thoughts on various fighters in his division. Here's what he had to say:
Is Bellator The Forever Home?
You know, I don’t really want to comment on that, either. I’ve got a few fights left under Bellator. I’m not going to be done after this tournament, and we have a pretty decent relationship right now. Then again, I don’t know what the future holds. Who knows what might change.
Bellator has always treated me like family. Nobody had ever heard of me before Bellator, so the few people that do know me, I have them to thank for it. We’ll see what happens in the future, because a lot can change.
I beat him last time with Jiu-jitsu, it was a submission win. Doug is an incredibly tough fighter, I’d put him top 5 in the world at welterweight. He is an excellent guy, I count him and his brother as friends, and we have a good relationship. That being said, the biggest disappointed about my injury was that Doug Lima was supposed to be my next fight, and I know he is dying for this rematch. I’ve told him face to face, 'You’ve got it buddy.'
Not that we have much of a choice in Bellator, but I would never turn down a fight. I’m a man of honor, I want him to get another shot at me, and I feel like it would go my way again. I’m really hoping if this tournament goes my way, we can look at Doug and me for the belt, and I know he would want nothing less.
I really do want to get that win back from Rick. I feel like it’s going to be a great test for me, a very clear comparison of the old versus the new, the me at that one point in time, versus what I feel is the new and improved fighter than I am now. It’s going to be really exciting.
I feel like I have more advantages at this size and this weight class. I’m obviously not worried about overpowering him so much, because you saw with Herman Terrado and Lyman Good that he has no problem dealing with strength, but I think my increased athleticism is what’s going to play to my benefit here. He was a lot more athletic than Herman Terrado, and that’s how he won. This time I don’t think he’ll have that advantage over me.
My thoughts on War Machine are that a lot of people really have a good time talking about how crazy his Twitter and Instagram can be, and some of the more, shall we say "eccentric" views he takes and choices he makes, but in the meantime he has been improving as a fighter. I think he has really serious jiu jitsu and decent wrestling, he’s a really talented fighter. If I had to prepare for him I would definitely take him seriously. I wouldn’t be distracted by the silly stuff on the side, he is a serious fighter.
Tito & Rampage signing
I sort of wish there would have been more focus on the tournament model. I don’t really think it’s for me to gauge whether this is for the best or not, but I feel like there are multiple fights from the tournament model that are infinitely more interesting. I’m very excited about the Pat Curran fight with Daniel Straus, which has fireworks written all over it. That fight is sort of losing light to two guys that didn’t fight in a tournament, but they’re also the biggest stars on the bill, so we’ll see how that pans out.
I’m aligned with the James Randi Educational Foundation, which is a non-profit that exists to promote critical thinking, skepticism and the scientific method. They do a lot of really great work and have a conference every year called The Amazing Meeting, or TAM for short. This year the theme was ‘Fighting the fakers,’ and they gave me an opportunity to sit on a panel and talk with four other gentlemen who are far more qualified than me to speak on some of the subjects, but we talked about the skeptical world view as it relates to training in martial arts, and some of the woo and nonsense that goes on under the guise of martial arts. It was a fun topic and I’m very much into critical thinking and the scientific method as a world view, so it was a really fun talk and I’m proud to be aligned with them.
You can follow Brent Weedman via his Twitter account @brent_weedman