Biography and Profile of Chris Weidman

Courtesy of Sherdog.com

Chris Weidman Biography Introduction:

At the time, Chris Weidman was an undefeated MMA fighter. That said, his wins over Alessio Sakara, Tom Lawlor, and even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ace Demian Maia had not drawn enough MMA fans onto his middleweight bandwagon. Enter opponent Mark Munoz at the UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman. Weidman had been an excellent wrestler in college; but Munoz had taken home a Division 1 national championship.

Weidman had defeated the likes of Maia. But Munoz had already defeated Maia, to go along with Kendall Grove, CB Dollaway, and Chris Leben. Many were thinking aloud that the Filipino fighter would show Weidman what MMA was all about.

Instead, Weidman took his adversary down on multiple occasions, dominating the battle from a ground perspective. What’s more, he won the stand up as well, putting Munoz on the canvas with an elbow and continuing to connect there until such time as the referee stepped in.

With the win, the world realized that they weren’t just looking at another good fighter in Weidman. They were looking at an upper echelon fighter. Here is his story.

Date of Birth:

Chris Weidman was born in Baldwin, New York on June 17, 1984.

Wrestling Background:

When Weidman was a child, he joined the Baldwin Kid Wrestling Program. As his father put it in a story at the FriendsofLongIslandWrestling.com, Weidman put a borrowed singlet on before he knew what wrestling meant to his child and then had trouble parting with the garment.

“He put it (a singlet) on when I gave it to him last night and he hasn’t taken it off yet” said his father; “I don’t know if we’ll ever get it off him! ”

Along the way, Weidman was also able to nab All-American status in Cadet Freestyle and Greco Roman.

Then came high school. While wrestling at Baldwin high school in Long Island, Weidman was able to net both Nassau County and New York State wrestling championships.

From there, Weidman earned All-American wrestling honors at Nassau Community College (twice), before transferring to Hofstra where he was a two-time Division I All-American, placing 3rd at the NCAA tournament his senior year, capping off a very successful career in the sport.

Submission Fighting Beginnings:

Gabriel “Monsta” Toribio, who was in a class at Hofstra with Weidman, invited the eventual MMA fighter to help the Long Island based Matt Serra/Ray Longo fighters with their wrestling. After accepting the invite, Weidman put in a few months of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training in 2007 and ended up entering the 2007 Grapplers Quest North American Championship.

“I decided to do a tournament, just to have fun with,” he said. “And I submitted everybody.”

Yep, Weidman defeated everyone he came up against in the Intermediate No-Gi Heavyweight and Absolute Divisions, submitting all 13 of his opponents. And all while a white belt. Afterwards, Weidman went back to coaching wrestling at Hofstra and training for an Olympic wrestling bid that failed, leading him back to martial arts training with a new goal.

MMA Beginnings:

After his attempt at making the Olympics, Weidman found MMA again, working as a wrestling coach for Ray Longo’s International Martial Arts Academy.

There he returned to BJJ training under Matt and Nick Serra in September, 2008. Early on, Longo noticed just how talented Weidman was.

“Ray (Longo) just thought that it wouldn’t be fair for an amateur guy to go against me,” Weidman said, according to an article at Let There Be Fight. “He didn’t want to be responsible for that.”

“I’ve been around a long time, and what I see in this kid, I haven’t seen in a long time,” Longo said. “And he’s the strongest 185-pounder I’ve ever touched, and I’ve been in there with a lot of guys.”

On February 20, 2009 Weidman made his pro MMA debut against Reubem Lopes at Ring of Combat (ROC) 23. Weidman achieved a big time Greco-Roman throw, overwhelmed his opponent on the ground, and then sunk in a kimura at the 1:35 mark of round one. Actually, Weidman won his first four matches for ROC, including a fight over Valdir Araujo for the organization which netted him their middleweight belt.

And that's when the UFC came calling.

UFC Comes Calling:

Weidman made his UFC debut on March 3, 2011 against Alessio Sakara at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann. He won the fight by way of a unanimous decision.

Fighting Style:

Weidman is a powerful puncher and improving striker. He possesses length and athleticism. That said, his greatest strength is his grappling. Weidman possesses excellent takedowns, born from his extreme power and wrestling background. He also has more than solid submissions, having trained at Serra’s gym. And due to his grappling status, it opens up opponent’s defenses on their feet more, as they always have to be wary of the takedown.

Personal Life:

Weidman was the second of three children. He is married and has a daughter.

Some of Chris Weidman's Greatest Victories:

Weidman defeats Anderson Silva by second round TKO at UFC 168: This fight will live on in the mind of nearly every fight fan for eons to come.  Silva threw a low kick, and his leg snapped when he connected with Weidman's leg.  The check by Weidman led to one of the most gruesome endings in MMA history.  That said, the result was a second straight victory over Silva, albeit a less than satisfying one. 

Weidman defeats Anderson Silva by second round KO at UFC 162: At the time, Silva was widely considered to be the greatest mixed martial arts fighter on the planet.  He had attempted to clown many fighters in the past, often successfully causing them to come forward too aggressively for something waiting for them.

 In this case, Weidman was ready and put him to sleep.  This one would make anyone's greatest wins ever list.

Weidman defeats Mark Munoz by second round KO at the UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman: Weidman dominated Munoz, a former national champion wrestler, on the ground. Then he used an elbow to help knock him out. This represented the biggest win of his young career at the time.

Weidman defeats Demian Maia by unanimous decision at the UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis: Was it the most exciting MMA match of all-time? No. But defeating Maia in a close fought decision truly put Weidman on the MMA map.

Weidman defeats Alessio Sakara by unanimous decision at the UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann: First UFC fight, first UFC win. There are few victories more important that that!