MMA fans know by now that UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman announced Friday that he had suffered an injury to his ribs in training, and will have to pull out of his upcoming title defense against Vitor Belfort.
It’s the third time the fight has been cancelled and rescheduled in the last year or so — with Wiedman suffering injuries to hand, knees, and ribs, and Belfort requiring a delay in response to the 2014 ban on testosterone replacement therapy.
Sadly, no timeline has been released for Weidman’s return. A bout for an interim title was proposed for Belfort, with Lyoto Machida as opponent — but the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion refused.
As Dana Becker reported here at Caged Insider, Belfort released a statement evincing his frustration with the matter, noting that he had “stepped up to fight” Jon Jones with “the same injury my opponent (Weidman) has now.”
Weidman responded yesterday at The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani:
“It’s disappointing, because I’ve been feeling so good,” Weidman said. “I’ve been wanting to fight Vitor (Belfort) so bad. I’m just pissed off. If there was any other type of injury where I could still move around a little bit, I’d still take the fight. But everything hurts. My last fight I fought with a broken hand. I’ve fought with broken ribs before. But this is one where there is nothing I can do. I’m apologetic to the fans, and even Vitor — even those he’s coming at me.”
At least, he used to feel bad for Belfort.
“I felt bad for him,” Weidman admitted. “But I don’t know if I feel bad for him now. I’m pissed off at him now.”
“Vitor failed a drug test, his second drug test,” Weidman continued. “Usually he’d be out for at least a year, but I think they tested him when there was no bout agreement, so they couldn’t really punish him the way they wanted to. He wasn’t licensed. So the guy’s lucky as anything that he’s not in trouble. I mean, he’s a two-time convicted juice-head at this point and he’s not realizing that. I understand that he hasn’t fought in a long time, but that’s his fault. I fought. I fought in July. That’s six months ago, against Machida.”
“But for him to be complaining,” Weidman said, “a guy who’s failing drug tests and shouldn’t even be able to fight until this February, because he failed a test last February or March, is just crazy.”