Beating a former top-ranked fighter is never easy, and doing so while heavily impaired makes it nearly impossible. That, however, is what Bellator welterweight Brent Weedman did in his first fight of 2013 when he defeated former Dream champion Marius “Whitemare” Zaromskis in January via unanimous decision.
“I was really proud of that fight,” said Weedman. “Zaromskis is one of the bigger names on my resume; one of the tougher guys that I fought. What a lot of people didn’t know is that I broke my hand within 30 seconds of the first round.
“Not only did I beat a top welterweight, I did it one-handed essentially. I feel confident that if I could have gripped or closed it, I would have finished it in the first round or two.”
While he’s pleased with the victory, Weedman (21-8-1) told MMAWeekly.com that he wasn’t able to showcase all the changes he had made to his game prior to the fight.
“There was a lot of negativity in my training environment and things that weren’t as adoptable as they could be, so changing of certain camps, training methods and focusing more on my strengths and game plans were the biggest changes I made,” he said.
“I also put on a little bit of size by hiring a new strength and conditioning coach, as well as nutritional consultants, and it completely changed my body. I feel like a completely different athlete. I feel really healthy and at the top of my game.”
Weedman’s injury has kept him out of action since the Zaromskis fight, but now that he’s healthy, he’ll once again attempt to win a Bellator welterweight tournament, starting with his first-round bout on Friday in Phoenix against Justin Baesman (14-3).
“After watching nearly all his fights, what I can say about him – and I mean this as a compliment – is that fighters who may be more sound than him, more experienced than him, or better than him on paper, he has a real knack for making them look like crap, dragging them into deep water, making them exhausted and just chipping away at them,” said Weedman of Baesman.
“What I have to do is use my experience to not let him get to me that same way and drag me down that path. I have to implement my game plan and get off on him without letting him dictate the fight and dictate the pace.”
Having come up short in previous tournaments, Weedman’s goal for this year is singular, win this season’s tournament and go after the Bellator world championship.
“By year’s end I want to have been tournament champion and looking for whomever the champion is to fight for the belt,” said Weedman. “If its Ben Askren, then obviously that would be a dream and honor to fight somebody of his caliber, if not, then someone like Ben Saunders and Doug Lima could be in line for that.
“There are a lot of exciting options in Bellator. My plan is to win out and keep taking whoever they put in front of me and put myself on track to be one of the best fighters in the world.”