Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman appeared recently on UFC commentators Kenny Florian and Jon Anik’s Florian and Anik podcast. As have many fighters before him, Weidman says his first loss has many positives.
“I do feel more free because I was caught in a way of doing things,” said Weidman as transcribed by David St. Martin for MMA Fighting. “My ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ type attitude might have held me back and made me complacent. Now that I lost, it just makes me feel more free to change and do different things to make myself a better fighter. Before I was like, ‘It’s working doing what I’m doing, so why travel to New York City to train with this guy or go to New Jersey to go with that guy? I’m good with what I’m doing.’ Now I’m making those moves and doing whatever I can to make sure I’m handling my business.
“I’m just really trying to take myself out of my comfort zone. I got real comfortable just doing my normal schedule. Now I’m switching it up, going with different people. Just putting myself in an environment of ‘un-comfortability’ to help me grow. I’m already seeing success with that.”
Weidman also says the loss may even have helped with his fan popularity.
“You’ve got to have thick skin,” he began. “Coming off all my wins I had a lot of criticism. It’s funny, after losing I think I’ve had less criticism. Every time I won there were so many excuses why. When I lost I guess people saw the human side and now maybe I’m more relatable.”
Chris Weidman fights Luke Rockhold on June 4 at UFC 199 in Inglewood, California.