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Will Chris Weidman retire with loss at UFC Atlantic City? ‘If you’re still good enough, you stick around’

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Wins and losses don’t matter, at least in terms of his immediate future.

Instead, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will use his training camp to decide how much longer he’ll compete in mixed martial arts (MMA). The 39 year-old “All American” battles Bruno Silva on the UFC Atlantic City main card this weekend in New Jersey.

“I’m not really looking at the result of this fight to make the decision if it’s my last one,” Weidman told MMA Fighting. “I’m really going to be gauging if it’s my last one or not on how I feel during this training camp. So probably two things — my motivation, like, how excited am I to be training every single day? My pain — how much pain I have every single day, is my body done? Can I still hold up? Can I still compete at the highest level of levels? Am I having fun? It’s the motivation and it’s the pain.”

Weidman (15-7) suffered a catastrophic leg break at UFC 261 back in early 2021 then got benched with another injury in the wake of his Brad Tavares loss at UFC 292 last August. It’s also worth mentioning that Weidman has dropped seven of his last nine, with six of those fights ending by way of knockout/technical knockout.

“If my body can get through this camp and I’m not miserable every day walking into the gym, and I’m actually having a great time and I love it and my pain is low to moderate, I’ll continue,” Weidman said. “I love this more than anything. I know I’m really great at it and I can do some more big things but it’s just if my body can handle it and I’m still excited to do it. When you have pain, just in the warmup, you start trying to bounce around a little bit to get ready for a practice, and you’re feeling pain, it just takes the excitement away. Now you’re just looking to get through the workout, as opposed to ‘I can’t wait, this is going to be so much fun.’”

Weidman was once ranked atop the middleweight division and No. 2 on the pound-for-pound chart but these days, does not even crack the Top 15 at 185 pounds. But don’t let the numbers fool you, because Weidman is not an “old bum” and would probably “rag doll” former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.

“Right now, I’m feeling great,” Weidman said. “I’ve been having tons of fun in the room, to be honest. I love training, but if that training just becomes a problem for me then I’m definitely done. I also know the other side of it — you don’t want to get punched in the head for a living for very long. Eventually, it might be the next shot you end up having long-term effects from. I am cognizant of that too, but I also know you only live once, and if you have something that you love and you happen to be one of the best guys in the world doing it, that’s a hard thing to give up. Imagine, for anybody out there if you want to think about it, just think of being the best in the world at something and you love doing it and now you just kind of have to stop because you’re older. If you’re not good enough, I get it, but if you’re still good enough, you stick around.”

To see who else is fighting at UFC Atlantic City click here.

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