Like any Thanksgiving, food was at the center of the UFC’s visit to the US Army Garrison Yongsan in Korea. But while stars like Jon Tuck, Yair Rodriguez, Mark Hunt and Big Nog were enjoying Thanksgiving meal with the Troops:
UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman had just finished “a little bit” of sparring:
Nothing like a little bit of sparring before Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/Pe8hcWwxUs
— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) November 26, 2015
Weidman is deep in his preparations for his UFC 194 showdown with former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold on December 12. But Weidman’s preparations for Rockhold hasn’t been just doing the extra mile by sparring on this holiday, Weidman told MMAJunkie Radio earlier this week that he’s hired a nutritionist and has given up alcohol to keep himself healthier and put him in the best shape possible for UFC 194. Weidman has been on a strict diet that he said, it was going to be a different Thanksgiving Dinner for him this year:
“My wife’s going to make me a separate meal, so it’s not going to be everything I want. But it’s alright. I like to be disciplined, and it’s sacrifices like that that make everything pay off at the end.”
Paying off for Chris Weidman means beating Rockhold soundly on December 12. While he owns two wins over Anderson Silva (he is the only fighter to ever beat Silva twice) and is coming off a dominant victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC 187, some experts and his critics say that Rockhold will be his toughest challenge to date.
Rockhold has rebounded from his UFC debut defeat to Belfort with stoppage victories over Costas Philippou, Tim Boetsch, Michael Bisping and Lyoto Machida. Now ranked as the top contender, Rockhold has downplayed Weidman’s main weapon:
“I respect his wrestling. I think he thinks it’s going to play too much of a role. I’m gonna shut down his wrestling. I’m gonna open up every other hole in his game.”
Finding holes in Weidman’s game is doable, but shutting down his wrestling may be next to impossible. Weidman earned All-American honors twice at Nassau Community College and was a two-time Division I All-American at Hofstra.
When he took down a great striker like Belfort on the ground, it was all over:
He even dominated the “Greatest” on the mat:
And yeah, if you’re three year old kid can wrestle like this:
What makes Rockhold confident he can shut down Weidman’s wrestling?