LAS VEGAS - On stage, Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida played the part perfectly during staredowns at Thursday’s media day for UFC 175.
Backstage, those stern looks, tough faces and bad intentions gave way to smiles and a humorous exchange.
While on stage, Weidman and Machida received their cue to stop with the staredown photo op and turn toward the camera for a side-by-side photo op. At that point, Weidman got Machida’s attention, pointed toward the ground, said something to him and smiled.
That brief, one or two sentence conversation focused on the height difference between Weidman, the middleweight champion from Long Island, and Machida, the former light heavyweight champion contending for Weidman’s title on Saturday inside Mandalay Bay.
Weidman is listed at 6-foot-2, Machida at 6-foot-1. On stage, the difference was noticeable, as were the shoe choices. Weidman wore black dress shoes and Machida a flat-soled sneaker.
“I’m not this tall, really,” Weidman recalled saying to Machida on stage.
“And then he said the same thing when I just saw him again,” Weidman said. “He was like, ‘I didn’t expect you to be that tall.’ There was something going on with the shoes. I was like, ‘Yeah, I was definitely standing on something.’”