UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who defeated Anderson Silva (twice) and Lyoto Machida in the course of a year, is saying that American MMA fans ain’t loyal to their ‘Merican fighters, ya hear?
Y’know, Chris Weidman has a point in what he’s saying:
I feel like smaller countries, other countries, they cheer, they support their people no matter what. We need to get a little bit more supportive of our people.
Here’s what he said about UFC 178, in Las Vegas, relative to the Conor McGregor — an Irishman — and Dustin Poirier — a Louisiana native — bout in which he noticed more fans in attendance cheering for McGregor over Poirier:
For him to have so many more fans than Poirier, over here in America, I mean, Americans are cheering for him and then you have all these Irish guys coming over cheering for him too. So America is the one country that, they don’t cheer for their own. They won’t just stick with Americans. I feel like Americans need to get better with that.
Both times Weidman fought Silva, and the fight with Machida three months ago, the crowd was more pro-Silva and pro-Machida in the respective bouts.
But while Weidman has a point, I have to drop the classic S.F.W. line: So fucking what? It’s a sport with variety. Americans are already running the table in the championship ladder of the UFC, with every titleholder — asides from Jose Aldo (a Brazilian who very well might drop his featherweight title to Chad Mendes, an American, later this month at UFC 179, albeit I don’t see that happening, a discussion for a later time) — being an American.
Wanna know something beautiful? Freedom of choice. It’s truly a great thing. I will say, however, that Weidman’s generalization that other nations all support their fighters over other nationalities’ fighters is off base. Remember the last season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil? Brazilians were largely cheering for Chael Sonnen — a man known for busting out pro wrasslin’ comments to troll the nation of Brazil — over their own, Wanderlei Silva. But I digress.
I don’t give a shit whether the fighter is American, Brazilian, Chinese or Ecuadorian — I want to watch an entertaining fight, which is more important than ethnic/nationalistic proclivities. Chris Weidman has the charisma of a cardboard box, so he’s doing what he can to market himself as the “All American”. For me, it all comes down to this polarizing, but hard-hitting quote by George Carlin: