In his last two fights, Baldwin native Chris Weidman defeated a mixed martial arts superstar in Anderson Silva to capture the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight title. But last Saturday, Weidman put his belt on the line against another former champion, Lyoto Machida.
The fight went the distance — five, five-minute rounds — and Weidman, 30, was declared the victor by unanimous decision to retain the title and improve to 12-0-0 in his career. The fight, which took place in Las Vegas as part of UFC 175, marked Weidman’s second title defense after claiming the belt one year ago.
Weidman is known as a wrestler inside the octagon, but he has the same distinction inside Baldwin High School. He was the state high school wrestling champion at 189 pounds in 2002 and has kept ties to the wrestling program through the years.
Weidman took Machida down five times during the match and landed 90 strikes on his way to victory. Machida, a former light heavyweight champion at 205 pounds, has since dropped down to compete in the 185-pound middleweight division.
But it seems that the belt isn’t leaving the side of one of Baldwin’s own any time soon.