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Chris Weidman returns to the octagon at UFC 131

Mixed martial arts fighter Chris Weidman, 26, encourages

Mixed martial arts fighter Chris Weidman, 26, encourages his students during a wrestling class he teaches at Ray Longo Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Garden City. (Sept. 9, 2010) Credit: James Escher

Chris Weidman, a four-time All-American wrestler at Nassau CC and Hofstra, returns to the Octagon at UFC 131 on June 11, Newsday has confirmed.

Weidman found out the fight opportunity Tuesday morning, agreed to the bout against Jesse Bongfeldt and signed his contract Tuesday afternoon.

"I have a full camp, first time in a while," Weidman, 26 of Baldwin, told Newsday.

Weidman (5-0) debuted in UFC last month with a unanimous decision win over Alessio Sakara at UFC on Versus 3 in Louisville, Ky. He took that bout on 19 days' notice and with a cracked rib.

Bongfeldt's original opponent, "Ultimate Fighter" season 11 winner Court McGee, pulled out of the fight. Weidman's middleweight bout is expected to air for free on Spike in the 9 p.m. hour as part of the UFC 131 prelims. Brock Lesnar fights Junior Dos Santos in the main event on pay-per-view.

Considered one of the top prospects at middleweight, Weidman hasn't had a full training camp -- both in terms of time and health -- in more than a year. With the proper time to work with trainers Ray Longo and Matt Serra,Weidman is thinking about one of those nice fight bonuses on top of his normal paycheck for the bout. 

"One of the 'of nights' sounds good to me," Weidman said, referring to the UFC's Fight of the NIght, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night awards. That should help cover those costs no one tells you about when you buy a house, which he and his family did. Weidman expects to close on a home on the water in Baldwin before the bout.




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