UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is just days away from his third title defence in the Octagon. With a 12-0 record that includes consecutive wins over one of the greatest mixed martial arts fighters in the sport, Anderson Silva, Weidman has the opportunity to add another former champion to his resume when he faces longtime adversary, Vitor Belfort.
While things appears to be in motion for the champ, he spent 35 minutes with MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani, where he delved into his past as a budding prospect on the regional scene and emotionally told the tale of what may never have been.
Weidman spoke about his early years in the sport, where he made $15,000 a year and relied on his pregnant wife and her full-time job for the necessary support to allow him to pursue his dream. The situation got so desperate that Weidman almost signed with Bellator to alleviate some of the financial pressure. However, a deal was never reached and Weidman was left to salvage the remains of his failed negotiations.
It was there that he received a call from the UFC to fight Alessio Sakara. Even though he had injured ribs at the time, Weidman took the opportunity and eventually parlayed it into championship gold.