Champion Chris Weidman has more to prove as he faces challenger Lyoto Machida
Relaxing comfortably poolside and wearing high-end designer sunglasses while a robot cleaned the pool and his body digested a gluten-free breakfast prepared fresh for him, Chris Weidman performed the obvious math.
"Winning equals a lot of great things," the UFC middleweight champion from Baldwin said. "Losing, there's not too many great things in that, so I'm just going to keep trying to win."
He needn't show all his work to prove the accuracy of his arithmetic. He's surrounded by it already, from the accoutrements of the new home in Dix Hills to the fight posters in the basement.
There are seven of them on the walls, each framed and autographed by the fighters from those nights. They tell the story of Weidman's rise from a prospect living in his parents' basement with his wife -- his name and likeness aren't featured on those early posters -- to middleweight champion and two-time conqueror of Anderson Silva, considered the greatest MMA fighter.
The one wall without a poster has its own piece of memorabilia. It's made of leather and gold. It's his UFC middleweight championship.
"It all goes away, in my eyes, if I don't keep winning," Weidman said. "I don't want to have any financial stress. I have to keep winning not to have that."
Weidman, a husband, father of two, homeowner and gym co-owner, gets his next opportunity to win on Saturday against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in Las Vegas.
Machida (21-4, 13-4 UFC), a former light heavyweight champion, debuted at middleweight nine months ago. He once was an undefeated champion the way Weidman (11-0, 7-0) is now. Weidman originally was scheduled to fight Vitor Belfort last May but required arthroscopic surgery on both knees in late March and needed time to rehab.
Supporting his family is one part of what motivates Weidman to put his body through multiple workouts each day for 10 weeks or so just to get ready to punch and kick another person and have the same done to him. It's what also helps keep him grounded amid the accolades and newfound popularity.
The rest of that desire comes from the 30-year-old's drive to compete. Whether he's playing a video game or fighting, Weidman wants to win. That mindset carried him to four All-American wrestling honors (two at Nassau CC, two at Hofstra). It led to 11 victories in his first 11 mixed martial arts fights.
Weidman began training in Brazilian jiujitsu and MMA in 2008. Since that first day, his brain has been wired one way: to beat Anderson Silva. He was the champion before Weidman started in this sport and was until July 6, 2013.
Now that Weidman has defeated Silva twice, what happens?
"After becoming champion and then beating Anderson Silva a second time, a hundred percent I had to change my mindset," Weidman said. "But it happened naturally, right away."
New mountains needed to be climbed, new heights to be reached. Weidman said he has more to prove, such as being one of the greatest of all time rather than just the guy who beat the greatest of all time.
"All these new goals started coming up inside me, boiling up to where instantly I had something else to search for and I wasn't able to feel comfortable with what I've already accomplished," Weidman said. "I moved on to 'I have to dominate everyone in my weight class.' This next fight, I want to set myself apart from everyone else, let everybody know that I'm going to be the guy here for a while."