FOX Sports Exclusive
Weidman invites the world to watch
Life for Chris Weidman hasn't changed all that much since winning the UFC middleweight title in one of the biggest fights so far in 2013 when he knocked out legendary champion Anderson Silva in their battle at UFC 162 in July.
Since the victory, Weidman has purchased a new house to replace the one he lost during the destruction of Hurricane Sandy; he will move in with his family over the next few days. Weidman has also managed to do more interviews in the past months than at any other time during his professional fight career, including a media tour where he sat alongside Silva for over a week while promoting their rematch at UFC 168 later this year.
Outside of that, Weidman admits life is still pretty normal for him. His wife isn't letting him get away with not taking out the garbage, and he's still a dedicated father to his kids.
Now with the media tour settled and training camp about to begin for his December rematch with Silva where he will enter the fight this time as champion instead of challenger, Weidman is picking up a new project that might change things for the dramatic as it gets closer and closer to fight time.
The new UFC middleweight king begins a 10-week training camp this weekend at his home gym in New York, and he's inviting fans, fighters, media and anyone else interested to tune in and watch the action on his website TheChampChallenge.com. The all-access look into Weidman's preparation is unprecedented in combat sports.
Cameras will be set up in his gym to capture every minute of his training from his strength and conditioning workouts to his grappling and sparring with teammates as he gets ready for what is expected to be the biggest fight in MMA history. While some athletes shy away from cameras, especially during crucial times like sparring sessions, Weidman is embracing the idea with an open mind.
"It's pretty much giving access to everything I do to the fans," Weidman told FOX Sports. "From my diet, every single thing I'm eating everyday, my workouts, every workout I'm doing, pretty much everything that I need to do to win this fight against Anderson Silva is going to be available to everyone who signs up. It's 24-hour access in my gym, so you'll get to watch everything I do. It's exciting. I think it's a new step for the sport, and give the fans an idea of what it takes to be a MMA fighter.
"You get my list of workouts, videos of my workouts, my nutritional plan for the day, every single day. Access to the gym pretty much 24 hours. Honestly it's going to be a lot of work for me, but I'm kind of excited to give the fans that opportunity because I think they deserve it."
Many champions or top fighters don't want cameras around at all during important training sessions, much less capturing their every move inside the gym. Boxing king Floyd Mayweather famously kicks out all of the video cameras for his full contact sparring sessions when doing a pre-fight documentary like 24/7 or All-Access.
Weidman isn't concerned about fans or fighters watching what he does in the gym. He doesn't even care much if Anderson Silva, his coaches, or his teammates watch the videos 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until their fight at UFC 168. Nothing Silva sees is going to stop Weidman from walking across the Octagon floor and putting a stamp on his last performance by doing the same thing all over again.
"I don't mind people watching me as long as they're not interrupting my training. I have no secrets. Anderson Silva, you can know everything I do, it doesn't matter," Weidman said. "I'm going to walk across that cage and I'm going to bring it to you. It doesn't affect me. They're going to have to beat me and that's what makes it exciting. It makes it even more competitive.
"That doesn't bother me. [Anderson] can sign up, he can watch me all he wants. May the better man win on December 28. I'm every excited about this fight, I'm very confident, and him watching me is not going to change that at all."
While this new project is also a business for Weidman, he's hoping to invite fans into his world for the most important fight of his life for more than just some extra income before UFC 168. In a world where fans are always looking for more information about a fighter's training camp and what they do to prepare, Weidman believes there's no better chance than to see what he goes through day in and day out when getting ready to face a fighter most call the greatest of all time.
"Now they can test themselves with what I'm doing. They're going to know what I'm doing everyday, and they can challenge themselves to keep up," Weidman said. "We're going to start 10 weeks out and if they push themselves every, single day they're going to see huge improvements. It's an all-around good thing."
Weidman will kick off his training camp this weekend and spend the next two weeks "knocking off the rust" while getting back in full fight shape. He will then shift into a full eight-week fight camp leading straight into his bout against Silva in the main event of UFC 168 from Las Vegas.
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