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12th Dec 2015

Chris Weidman’s touching gesture will have you cheering for him at UFC 194

Class act

Patrick McCarry

Chris Weidman is a stand-up guy and a fine UFC champion.

The American takes on compatriot Luke Rockhold in the co-main event at UFC 194.

The middleweight champion has already bested the likes of Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida but will be sternly tested by the Californian.

While Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo were threatening to lump the head off each other at the UFC 194 weigh-ins, Weidman took time out to meet a keen MMA fan.

Ian Matuszak earned his jiu-jitsu blue belt this week. Quite an achievement when you consider that he is battling cancer.

Matuszak was invited along to meet Weidman after the weigh-ins and was taken aback when the champion presented him with some of his Reebok fight gear.

There was another surprise.

Weidman told him, “I don’t know if you know this, but you’re going to be walking out with me, so you’re going to need an outfit.”

The 31-year-old met Matuszak, who also suffers from cerebral palsy, when he was training under Pete ‘Drago’ Sell.

Weidman actually offered to pay for Matuszak’s flight from New York to Las Vegas, for the fight, but the UFC stepped up and footed the bill.

The middleweight champ told Newsday, “I don’t know, I just thought about him, like you know what, I’d love for him to come out here. I know he’d love to be out here, and imagine him being able to walk me out to the fight.”

Rochhold, meanwhile, is doing a good deed of his own.

The challenger will donate a portion of his sponsorship cheque from the fight to Hire Heroes USA, an organisation that finds employment for war veterans.

One champion. two heroes.