Chris Weidman listened for nearly three hours as members of the New York State Assembly argued back and forth in favor and against the bill that would legalize mixed martial arts in his home state.
Weidman has been on the front lines alongside UFC officials in attempts to legalize the sport in New York and while the Assembly overwhelmingly supported the bill in the end with a vote of 113-25 it didn't happen without a fair share of detractors weighing in.
Weidman says he heard some of those same comments in private while stumping at the state capitol to get the sport legalized, but he never imagined the Assembly members who said it would be crazy enough to repeat it in public.
He was wrong.
"A lot of this stuff you might have heard when you went into the offices and you'd be shocked then, but for them to be actually saying it on a public forum was very surprising and I was actually embarrassed for them," Weidman said during a media conference call after the bill was passed. "I think it just kind of made them look ignorant with their comments and they're reaching as far as they possibly can to stop this from happening for whatever reason.
"They were willing to make themselves kind of look bad while they were doing it."
There were several highly controversial and seemingly outlandish arguments made against legalizing the sport in New York before the vote was finally taken.
Among them were Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell, who veered off into a strange diatribe comparing MMA to pornography.
"I should really like it -- you have two nearly naked, hot men rolling on top of one another, trying to dominate each other. Just in case you don't know, that's gay porn with a different ending," O'Donnell said to the assembly gathered in Albany, N.Y.
O'Donnell wasn't alone because other members of the assembly had their own arguments against MMA being legalized no matter how outlandish the statements played out.
"I understand this is very, very popular with folks but there are many things that people might enjoy that we do not actually think are a good thing," Assemblywoman Deborah Glick stated. "I was quoted as saying if we wanted to charge a fee for public hanging there would be regrettably some segment of our society that actually would show up but we don't do that."
There were also a lot of comments made about MMA fighters and a connection to domestic violence, which Weidman took offense to while painting the sport with a very broad brush and ignoring other sports with similar issues.
"Some of the domestic abuse and all these different things, there's bad apples in every type of job there is, whether it's sports or just normal day-to-day jobs so for them to try to point out domestic violence in the sport and it's worse than other sports, I think that's kind of a joke," Weidman said. "I don't think there's any truth behind that."
The Assembly meeting actually cut into Weidman's training schedule on Tuesday so he was forced to leave before the vote was taken that finally legalized the sport in his home state.
Weidman says he never doubted that the vote would lift the ban on MMA in New York and really the comments made by some of the less informed Assembly members gave him even more confidence that the bill would pass.
"Some of these things they were saying were so ridiculous that I was actually happy and embarrassed for them for even bringing it up," Weidman said. "It's things I've heard that people behind closed doors might be saying but to actually hear them say it live and in the public, I actually thought it was pretty interesting and probably good for us.
"I thought it was embarrassing on their part."