In 2012, the UFC has been struck by injury after injury, causing more fighters having to drop out of fights than seemingly ever before and an unprecedented number of headaches for Dana White and Joe Silva. This has led me to believe that Dana White scorned some voodoo-practicing wizard at some point early this year, leading to all of this chaos. Unfortunately, whatever voodoo curse Dana came down with appears to be contagious and, even more unfortunately, UFC middleweight Chris Weidman appears to have caught the curse.
Things were going great for Weidman for awhile in 2012, as he stepped up on short notice to beat Demian Maia on Fox, and destroyed the highly-ranked Mark Munoz with a devastating knockout finish. After these wins, Weidman seemed like the logical choice for a title shot against Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and, in my mind cemented his status as the potential challenger most likely to dethrone him. To capitalize on this, Weidman began to publicly (yet respectfully) call out Silva every chance he got. He even went so far as to volunteer to fight for a UFC title on very short notice against not only Silva but also light-heavyweight champion Bones Jones.
I, for one, would have loved to see Weidman get either of those fights, whether on short notice or not. The UFC didn’t feel the same way, however, and Weidman’s requests generally fell on deaf ears. This ignorance was probably helped by the fact that Silva has seemed content to come up with every excuse possible not to defend his belt against Weidman, generally complaining that the undefeated challenger is not well known or has not beaten enough people to earn a title shot. Because, you know, Silva has always only agreed to give title shots to such deserving contenders (Thales Leites, anyone?).
But the curse that Weidman has contracted has gone much deeper than just not getting what he wants. It has given him a bunch of stuff he didn’t want as well.
At the end of October, Weidman’s hometown of Baldwin, New York was ravaged by Hurricane/Superstorm (“Supercane”?) Sandy, leaving his neighborhood in ruins. In a depressing scene, Weidman’s home was destroyed and his neighbors were left paddling canoes down what used to be his street. All lame jokes aside, a hurricane demolishing your house in New York is about as bad of luck as one can get.
And, if that wasn’t bad enough, now Newsday is reporting (and the UFC has confirmed) that a training injury has knocked Weidman out of his scheduled bout at UFC 155 against Tim Boetsch, which undoubtedly would have moved Weidman one step closer to that elusive title shot. Instead, he will apparently be out of action for 3-6 months after surgery.
Not only will Weidman not have the chance to hammer Boetsch on one of the biggest pay per views of the year and experience the corresponding bump in mainstream popularity, but he also now runs the risk of getting passed further by in the middleweight division. If Alan Belcher and Michael Bisping are able to impressively defeat Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort, respectively, I have little doubt that both will jump ahead of Weidman in the unofficial rankings that will be considered as relevant in preventing Weidman from getting his hands on Silva.
Stop the curse!