Home News MMA Chris Weidman Questions American Fan’s Loyalty

Chris Weidman Questions American Fan’s Loyalty

1567
SHARE
UFC-162:-Silva-vs-Weidman
(Chris Weidman celebrates victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 162)

On a recent visit with the MMA Hour, Chris Weidman expressed his opinions on the state of American MMA fans’ loyalty and support to their American athletes.

“I feel like smaller countries, other countries, they cheer, they support their people no matter what,” Weidman said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “We need to get a little bit more supportive of our people.”

In a display that can only confirms why so many fans are disillusioned, Weidman presented a simple argument that consisted of, (paraphrasing) “Because I’m American, Americans should support me.”  It’s certainly a nice thought, and certainly something that many patriots can identify with, but the fact is America is more than just “Americans”.  America has an immensely diverse population.  Beyond that, the sport of MMA has international appeal now.  And certainly it’s only to be expected that those countries who’ve only recently begun to see exposure will be ever more so excited to see one of their own making it in the big leagues of MMA.

But Weidman doesn’t buy it.  He went on to complain about the amount of support that Conor McGregor got from his Irish fans during his recent performance versus that of his American opponent, Dustin Poirier.

“For him to have so many more fans than Poirier, over here in America, I mean, Americans are cheering for him and then you have all these Irish guys coming over cheering for him too,” Weidman said. “So America is the one country that, they don’t cheer for their own. They won’t just stick with Americans. I feel like Americans need to get better with that.”

Improving upon an already confounded argument.  Weidman goes on to explain how America has so much going for it compared to these “other” countries.  By all means, we are all for patriotism, but it may not be in the best interest of a World Middleweight champion to make every other country seem ‘inferior’ to their own. Regardless, he told the MMA Hour:

“I feel like, we’ve got so much going on, we’ve got so many people to support that, sometimes, we really are good at a lot of different things,” Weidman said. “We have a lot of great stars and so many different things, some of the other countries don’t have that. So when they get somebody, they support them to the death. America, I kind of think we take it for granted sometimes.”

Finally, popping the cork on the bottle of “whine” made from the finest ‘sour grapes’, Weidman expresses his feelings regarding the level of support he got versus that of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida during their bouts.

“I’ve fought all these top Brazilians,” Weidman said. “They’re all supporting their people, Anderson Silva, they’re supporting him. Lyoto Machida, they’re all supporting him. I didn’t have the full support of America. Not everyone American was rooting for me because I’m from America. If they were rooting for me, it’s because they were a fan of me. There was a lot of fans from America who were cheering for Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.”

So what exactly is Weidman complaining about?  Are the PPV buys not enough to satisfy the ego?  Rather than acting like a champ, his demeanor appeared more like a disenfranchised underdog.  Bitter about the idea of not getting “enough” resounding support from the American audience.  Insinuating that his victory over Silva to be enough to sway 8 years of fans who followed and watched Silva dominate the middleweight division in the UFC.  Or that the country from which a fighter originates should dictate their fan base.

Fans may be fickle but they aren’t completely brain dead.  It takes time to win them over and this obvious sense of entitlement and desire for adulation is likely the very reason that American athletes may not garner the immense support that athletes like Weidman ‘expect’.

Besides that, if anything, what this shows is that Americans are not prejudice.  They are open to supporting whomever is best.  We aren’t bound by narrow nationalistic ideologies, but rather we have an open forum for talent.  Regardless the country, color, ethnicity of the athlete, they are welcome to come and compete and they will get a fair opportunity to succeed.

A word of advice.  Spend a little more time at the top, do something outside of the octagon to help your fellow American.  Then see how the fan base treats you.  You just might be surprised at the effects.

What are your thoughts?  Does Weidman make a valid point or is he just creating political controversy where it doesn’t belong?

SHARE
Previous articleUFC Fight Night 54 Complete Results
Next article3 Reasons CM Punk Was Better Than We Remember
Luca Rajabi
Luca has been passionate about martial arts and eastern philosophies since childhood. As an athlete, inventor and entrepreneur Luca founded SciFighting on the principal lessons learned from his life experience "fighting" to preserve his health and fitness. Although born with inherently poor and inconsistent health he pushed forward to learn as much as he could about the sciences of technology, medicine and mental health. Years of study, working with physicians and combined analysis finally began to bare fruit by his early twenties. Starting with Fencing, cross training and body building then moving to Boxing, Western Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiujitsu, Eskrima and an eclectic assortment of self defense techniques. Luca's core philosophy is that to win a battle every fighter must balance their mental and physical health. Luca has said that "With well developed technique, conditioning and mental focus a sound strategy will most often win over brute strength alone." It is in this spirit that he passionately advocates for the "Science of Fighting".
  • Robert Lewis Livingston

    Diverse population, yes. But a diverse population of Americans nonetheless.
    Not all that’ve recently gotten exposure get excited, e.g. Tarec.
    America does have A LOT going for it, but only A LOT when compared to certain countries. It has things going for it regardless, however.
    His arguments aren’t good, but neither are yours. And considering that you’re essentially just putting words in his mouth, his might be considered better in some regards.
    Are you an Anderson Silva fan?

    • Hi Robert,
      Good comments. I bumped you up one. I’m no more a fan of Silva than I am of Weidman. In fact, I really think Weidman is a great athlete and he also has a great image for the sport. Clean cut, all-American, good role model for kids. The issue I perceive with his comments is that while they are patriotic and meant with good intention, the way in which he expressed his thoughts might lead some to believe that other countries are inferior to the united states. While he does take aim at a possible issue with support for American athletes, in my opinion there isn’t enough evidence to show that to be the case. Besides the fact that UFC is trying to expand beyond the borders of the US continent, to insinuate that “smaller” countries shouldn’t have stronger bases of support for their athletes than “larger” countries taking a very broad brush to a much more delicate topic. The purpose of the story is to generate conversation and see what others think.
      So I genuinely thank you for your comments, and your critique. I think you raise some excellent points and encourage you to continue sharing them. In fact, this does indeed make me think that this perhaps deserves a revisit and perhaps a deeper dive into the possible validity of his claims. 🙂 When the article is published, I’ll credit you for the inspiration Robert. Thanks again and keep it coming!

      • Robert Lewis Livingston

        Thanks, but I still think you’re putting words in his mouth. What I think Weidman is saying is, “America is great. I’m very proud of my country. Sometimes, when Americans don’t cheer for me, I think they’re not as proud. I think they should be, because America is great.” It’s a simple point he’s trying to make, in my opinion.