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Chris Weidman Details Battle With COVID-19, Uriah Hall Rematch

Former UFC champion Chris Weidman details what happened to his body while working to recover from the novel coronavirus.

Former UFC champion Chris Weidman was a guest on Submission Radio recently to discuss his battle with COVID-19 and upcoming rematch against Uriah Hall.

On having COVID

“First couple of days definitely sucked pretty bad. I had a fever, and I’ll just say about 10 people I know had it at the same exact time, and I probably had it the worst. Which is weird.”

“People way older than me that were out of shape had it a little bit better than me for whatever reason. I don’t know. But yeah, for about three days I had a fever, body aches, bad headache, and it just kind of sucked. And then after that, I just kinda felt tired. I would get these headaches randomly. Yeah, so I had to take about two weeks off training, and now I feel good and getting back in shape. But I guess taking two weeks off my proper training, even if I came back with no lingering effects, it’s just not the best timing for the fight. So, I didn’t expect to get my fight pushed back till April, I expected maybe a couple of weeks. But hopefully it’s a huge pay-per-view and a big opportunity, a big platform to be able to showcase my skills and make a big statement.”

“I also lost 12 pounds. I was eating soups and stuff. My appetite wasn’t that great and I ended up losing 12 pounds throughout the process. Which, I was like, wow, my weight cut is not gonna be as bad, I really got my weight low.”

“[it happened] a couple of weeks ago. I tried, I thought I was gonna be able to fight, and then it really wasn’t an option.”

“I’m good now, but it definitely took a little bit of an effect on me. There’s just so many question marks. Like, lingering effects. I went on antibiotics and I took the Medrol Pak. I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any long-term lung issues. That was one of the scariest that I’ve heard a couple of times. And what I was being told by doctors is, do not work out while you have it. Even if you start feeling good, because your body’s still fighting it. I was told that that’s kind of why people are getting these lingering effects, because they’re pushing a little bit too early. I know a few people now, even some of the athletes who are still coughing and still having lung issues after a year ago. Some guys who I know had it a year ago – well, one person I know had it last January – who still has lung issues. Very young and athletic and healthy person, but just kept training through it, and now still has some lung issues. And I know another person who’s coughing and stuff and had it a couple of months ago, another athlete. So, I feel good and I don’t feel like I have lingering effects because I really rested and made sure to do the right things.”

On still not testing negative

“No, I didn’t test negative yet.”

On rematching Hall and him being cool about keeping the fight and moving it to UFC 261

“I think it’s good. I get a little bit more time to get in better shape. My last fight, I felt like I was a little tired in that fight, and I wanna make sure I’m in really unbelievable shape for this fight. So, it gives me more time to focus on really getting my body where it needs to be. So, I think it’s a blessing in disguise.”

Yeah, I’m happy the UFC was able to keep this fight together because I really do like this match-up, I do like the rematch. And so for him, I’m sure he had a say, but if he was like ‘I need to fight,’ maybe they would have given him somebody else. So, for the fact that he was able to be cool and understand the situation and let them postpone it, even as far they did it – which I thought was at first crazy, but now I’m like, it makes sense, it’s supposedly going to be a big pay-per-view out in Singapore. So, they’ll probably be trying to get as many big names on that card as possibly to try and make sure it stays strong.”

“Yeah, I really appreciate Uriah for being cool and staying with me as a dance partner for this, because I think it’s a big fight for him and also for me too.”

“We kind of grew up around each other in New York and our paths have crossed many times, and I just feel like it was a long time coming. We had that first fight. For a local scene, it was a huge fight. There was a lot of talk before the fight on who was gonna win. And everyone who was on his side thought he was unbeatable, everyone who was on my side thought I was unbeatable. And the way the fight ended up playing out was not really what most people would have expected at that time. They thought I was going to have to take him down and submit him, and they thought he was going to have to try and keep it standing and knocking me out. And I ended up knocking him out from the feet with the same left hook I hit Anderson Silva with. So, I know that fight was actually his first loss. Your first loss is something that’s hard to get over, so I know he wants that back, and I just don’t want to give it to him. There’s a lot of hype behind Uriah coming off three wins. I just think it’s the perfect match-up for us.”

On the Uriah Hall of 2021 compared to 10 years ago

“He’s gonna be more relaxed in there. I know he’s gonna be more relaxed than he was back then. Both of us with the experience we have, and he really is the most dangerous on the feet still just like he was back then, but I’m sure he’s got way better Jiu Jitsu and wrestling. He’s watched my fights. I have way more things out there that he can draw from as well as me being able to draw off of his fights. So, it’s definitely going to be a different. But I plan on going out there and finishing him again, and first round sounds good to me.”

What’s at stake here, and wanting to retire as champion

“A lot, a lot. A big win, a huge statement on pay-per-view, dominating finish definitely puts me back up in the mix. Whether it’s one, two, three fights until I’m fighting for the title, it definitely puts me back into the mix. Akhmedov at the time he was more unknown, but he was on a six-fight winning streak. Then I beat him, but I didn’t get too much acknowledgement out of that. But he did just have another finish. First or second-round finish. I think it helped my win look even better. And to go out there and be able to finish Uriah Hall, I think puts me right back in the mix. Especially with my resume already. So, I’m excited, man. I really want to finish my career on a high note. I want to finish it with that belt in my hands and be able to walk away. And I know I got the potential to do it, and I just gotta stay active and keep working hard, and the sky’s the limit.”

On Paulo Costa vs. Robert Whittaker

“I think that’s a good match-up for Whittaker. Obviously, Paulo Costa is a big freakin monster, juice head probably. Has he failed for steroids? I’ve seen some before, like, old pictures of him, and then now and it’s just like crazy. (Submission Radio responds that he’s failed for an IV issue). Oh, ok, alright. So, I don’t want to crush him. But yeah, he’s definitely a jacked dude. Definitely stiff and gets tired. I mean, Adesanya really just exposed him and picked him apart. That was a beautiful performance for him. But yeah, I think Whittaker wins that fight though. I just think because his movement. He’s got great movement in and out.”

On not wanting to fight Whittaker if they don’t have to because of the respect he has for him

“I like Whittaker too much. If we had to, we’d have to, but obviously I just got a lot of respect for that guy as a human being.”

Prediction for Hall

“I gotta say, I’m a freakin beast right now. I’m a different animal right now. I feel good, minus the Corona. I really am fully engaged and motivated to go out there and make a statement, and I’m going to be very hard to beat. So, I’m coming at him, and I could see me finishing him in the first round again. I could also see me breaking his will and it might head to second or third round, but I’m gonna finish him.”

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