“If you want to know the truth, he was banged up. He had a fractured foot in two places. We tried to work around it, but I think mentally it had an effect on him, because he wasn’t able to push the cardio the right way… He has fought with injuries before. I’ve seen this guy walk through fire before – but as his coach, I feel bad. Maybe I should have been more vocal about this or that. You can’t make excuses. His teammate, Aljamain Sterling, was banged up going into his fight on Dec. 11 and he won. So, you never know. If you decide to fight, what can you do during camp? Put a boot on him, so someone takes a picture and he’s walking around in a boot? He didn’t wear one. It’s a nightmare. And these guys are my friends, so I’m in a weird spot sometimes. You basically have to tell them they’re not doing it.”
-Chris Weidman’s coach Ray Longo talks to ESPN.com about the former Champion’s loss to Luke Rockhold in December, and why he thinks Weidman probably shouldn’t have fought that night.
Penick’s Analysis: The after the fact justifications for what happened in that fight likely won’t be taken well, but neither of them looked completely themselves at UFC 194. It’s entirely possible both of them were fighting well under 100% due to the ailments both have claimed to have been dealing with into the fight, and the rematch will hopefully find them both much closer to their best. Regardless, Luke Rockhold was clearly the better man at UFC 194, and Weidman’s got an uphill climb into the June rematch.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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