The warrior mentality

As I said, Chris Weidman is a champion worthy of respect and admiration. Just how much respect and admiration, though, doesn't become clear until you see how the guy trains:

Chris Weidman stands in rather stark contrast to certain previous champions. Compared to Jon "Bones" Jones, who just can't seem to keep his nose clean (literally), Chris Weidman is practically a choir-boy- who also happens to be one of the most talented, hardest-working, down-to-Earth, and downright lethal men on the entire planet.

He loves his wife. He adores his children. He wants to do the best he can for the people who he cares about. He believes in giving back to the sport that has rewarded him for his own incredible work ethic and considerable talent.

He reveres his Creator. He finds refuge and solace in prayer to God, and he is unabashed in speaking of his faith.

Best of all, he understands the warrior's mindset. He knows what it takes to conquer fear, uncertainty, and doubt- because he has to do it, every single day, to push himself to be the very best that he can be. He understands that fighting in the Octagon is about as real as it gets, and that no man, no matter how hard he tries, is going to be able to master all of the infinite varieties and levels of skills within the world of martial arts.

Though he is a master of wrestling and an adept striker, he retains that beginner's mindset which is so critical to becoming truly great at anything. He has not (yet) let his incredible success and talent go to his head; he has not (yet) let his ego blind him. He remains the same fierce yet humble fighter that he was when he first fought in the UFC.

As role models in sport go, we could do a lot worse. We have done a lot worse.

So why, then, do so many fans of the sport continue to boo him whenever he walks into the cage? I have no clue why; as far as I'm concerned, he is the real deal, a great champion and a good man, from whom I, at least, could learn a very great deal about martial arts and the warrior mentality.


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