If you’ve ever heard the story about how Chris Weidman wooed his wife, chances are that you took two things away from it: The middleweight champion is an incredibly honest and upfront person, almost to a fault, and he sometimes has to poo when he gets nervous.
Although he may not have appeared so heading into his title fight with Vitor Belfort last weekend (or while eating a hailstorm of Belfort’s punches), it turns out that UFC 187 was one such time that Weidman came down with a case of the butterflies. He was so nervous, in fact, that just moments before he was set to walkout, he came to the realization that he might become the first UFC fighter to sh*t himself in the octagon (well, second). Had Burt Watson been backstage doing his classic “We rollin!” pump-up routine, we can almost guarantee that the pressure would have gotten to him.
As Wediman told Ariel helwani on yesterday’s edition of The MMA Hour:
I’ll be honest. It was my first time ever that I had to go to the bathroom bad. I could not believe this was going to happen. I’m going to crap myself in the middle of this cage. I didn’t know, as soon as Vitor’s walkout music came on, was concentrating, all I could think about was that I didn’t know if I should run into the bathroom now or hold it. I didn’t know what was going to happen.
That’s really what was going through my mind the whole time walking out. I thought I would be the first person that had to run from a fight to go to the bathroom, or they’d have to hold the fight for me. But, I didn’t want to tell anybody because when you say it out loud it makes things worse. So, when we were getting ready to do the walkout, I gave Ray my flag, usually I hold it, but I gave it to him so I could focus on not crapping myself pretty much. So yeah, you were right, there was definitely something not normal.
An interesting “what could’ve been” no doubt, but I must respectfully disagree with Weidman’s assertion that what he was going through was “not normal” on Saturday. I know if I was about to fight a testosterone-fueled Brazilian with a cross shaved into his head, I would have more than a few butterflies in my stomach. Hell, I’d be looking high and low for a pipe to slip on backstage, or calling Tim Means’ sauna guy to sprinkle a little water on the floor of the bathroom for me to conveniently slip on while giving myself a Jack Donaghy-inspired pep talk. (“It’s quitting time, you cowardly sonofabitch”)
Honestly, when you consider what most fighters put themselves through in the 48 hours before a fight, it makes you wonder how normal Weidman’s experience actually was. All that weight cutting and replenishing fluids and protein shakes and acai…it’s a wonder that most of them aren’t spraying bodily fluids all over fans like a goddamn Penn and Teller show.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is: Cheer up Chris. You didn’t sh*t yourself, and better yet, you didn’t sh*t the bed against Belfort even when he was unloading the 30 seconds of yoke-fisted fury that his body would allow. Sounds like a win-win to me.