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NY native Chris Weidman ready for Romero challenge



As Chris Weidman checked in Tuesday afternoon for his UFC 205 bout against Yoel Romero, he’s already seen and heard it all from the media celebrating the Long Islander’s first bout in New York.

All except queries about the man who will be trying to punch him in the face this Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s one of the least asked questions,” he said with laugh. “Yeah, not too many.”

It’s understandable, considering the road it took for Weidman to get here and the pivotal role he played in getting mixed martial arts legal in his home state. But Romero, an Olympic silver medalist in wrestling and a fighter who is unbeaten in seven UFC bouts, is no one to be ignored

“He’s a really good wrestler, very accomplished, a good athlete, explosive, heavy-handed,” Weidman, 32, said of his foe. “So I’ve got to be very focused and be ready to go.”

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And Weidman is, patiently accepting all the questions about fighting in New York for the first time, but also keeping his mind on the most important part of this weekend.

“I know the reality is that I’m stepping into the cage with somebody and I’ve got to be ready,” he said. “So I’d be an idiot to start thinking about anything else. That’s the only thing that’s on my mind.”

That, and getting his world middleweight title back. So even though he’s had his battles with injuries over the last few years, “The All-American” isn’t looking for the finish line yet.

“I feel like I haven’t accomplished my goals yet and I feel like I’m in the prime of my career, so I have a lot more to offer and prove to myself,” Weidman said. “I get a win on Saturday night, get a fight with Bisping, get to beat him up and get my belt back, and then the sky’s the limit. I learned a lot from the loss (to Luke Rockhold in 2015) and I’m excited to hold that belt again. I’m hungry.”