Chris Weidman was moments from signing with Bellator MMA
On July 6, 2013, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, undefeated Chris Weidman reaches the goal of every fighter in every fight sport – fighting the best. He does it as the headliner in UFC 162, with a cut of the PPV.
However, according to the NY Post, just two years ago he was ‘broke as a joke’ and on the cusp of being what he termed ‘betrayed’ by Bellator, with who he was about to sign.
Marc Raimondi has the story.
In early 2011 Chris Weidman had a contract in hand with Bellator and every intention of signing it. A night out with his family was planned for high-end Bryant & Cooper Steakhouse in Roslyn, NY. Weidman’s uncle, a lawyer, was just going to browse the document one last time. Nothing more than a formality.
But in the type he found a way that the life of the contract could be extended to three or four years, Weidman said. Initially, Bellator brass promised him it would be a two-year deal.
“I felt like I was betrayed by them,” said Weidman. “They never told me that. It was a little sneaky.”
“I was so upset. I was so let down. I was excited to go to Bellator.”
Bellator, through a spokesman, declined comment on Weidman’s claims.
Less than a week after painfully turning down Bellator, he got a call from the UFC. Maiquel Falcao and Rafael Natal, had injuries force them out of a middleweight fight with Alessio Sakara at UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann in Louisville, Ky., which would air on national television. They needed a replacement and Weidman, despite nursing a broken wrist, didn’t hesitate.
He took the fight and ended up dominating Sakara with his wrestling, winning a unanimous decision.
The way Weidman figures it, he would be Bellator’s middleweight champion by now and likely locked into a contract with them – perhaps not unlike what Eddie Alvarez is going through.
“Everything happens for a reason,” said Weidman. “Thank God I took my time and didn’t just rush into it.”