Despite the many highs it provides for fans and fighters alike, the truth is that MMA is a brutal and unforgiving sport more often than not — look no further than the UFC's "The Thrill and the Agony" series for an up close and personal look at just how emotionally turbulent the sport can be on both its competitors and their families.
One fighter who has experienced lower lows than possibly any other in recent months has been that of #ChrisWeidman. After losing his middleweight title to arch rival #LukeRockhold last December, the New Yorker returned at #UFC205 earlier in the month to take on top middleweight contender #YoelRomero and suffered one of the most horrific KO losses of the year in front of his hometown crowd.
Arguably just as devastating as the fight-ending flying knee itself was the reaction of Weidman's close friend and training partner #StephenThompson, who was set to challenge #TyronWoodley for the UFC welterweight championship just two fights later.
During a recent interview with MMAFighting, the former champ put his heart on his sleeve, revealing that not only had he actually been struck three times in the head in the span of a second -- twice by his opponent, and once by his own knee as he crumpled to the mat -- but that he might have unintentionally got in Thompson's head during a backstage conversation following his loss.
"My wife actually [recorded] us the first time we saw each other after the fight,” said Weidman.
The video is pretty pathetic of me and him just sobbing and hugging each other for a good 30, 45 seconds. I don’t know. I felt terrible, and I’m sure it did affect him. That sucks. For him to have to watch that, that was bad. That was brutal. To see that, someone who you love get hit with a knee like that, and then you’ve got to make that walk next, there’s no question it affected him. I’m sorry that he had to see what he saw with me. We had an emotional moment, for sure.
While Thompson did go on to battle Woodley to a draw that night, it appears he will be receiving an immediate title rematch as soon as both parties are fully recovered. As for Weidman, however, the future is a little less clear.