Chris Weidman and Ray Longo were warmly received by the auditorium when they turned up at the 2015 Leaders Sport Performance Summit in New York. At the time, Weidman was the unbeaten reigning UFC middleweight world champion – his coach Longo’s second UFC champion, following as he did in the footsteps of Matt Serra.
By John Portch
Weidman’s fortunes have fluctuated since that afternoon at the Times Center in Manhattan – a time when the UFC was still outlawed in his and Longo’s native New York. However, what he laid out that day, at the top of his game, was a blueprint for how to handle the moments of often brutal violence and adversity that mixed martial arts can inflict upon its participants. After all, here was a four-time NCAA All-Star Wrestler, hailing from Hofstra, who won nothing at school. Weidman’s mixed martial arts was going to be different: “I decided to be the hard-working guy – hard work and preparation bred confidence; and I stopped losing.”
Beyond Weidman’s Damascene conversion on the mats of the NCAA, you’ll also hear from him and Longo on:
-Dealing with the crossroads presented by Hurricane Sandy, which devastated Weidman’s home, in 2012.
-Longo’s ‘trifecta’ that leads to the perfect alchemy between a champion and their coach.
-Weidman’s efforts to prove his doubters wrong; using their barbs as fuel.
-Why even as UFC world champion Weidman felt he ‘knew nothing’
-Handling the balance of process versus outcome when athletes and coaches often live and die by their results.