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UFC on FOX 25: Chris Weidman, 'Fighter To Watch' tonight in Uniondale

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

It seems so long ago that Chris Weidman was sitting on top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world. Not only was he the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion of the world, but he was the first person to defeat Anderson Silva inside the Octagon, ending “The Spider’s” terrorizing reign at 185-pounds and ending his 17-fight win streak in the process.

After defending his title three straight times “All American” went on a cold streak that caught everyone off guard. After getting the brakes beat off him by Luke Rockhold and UFC 194, coughing up his belt in the process, Weidman went on to get brutally knocked out by Yoel Romero seven months later. If that weren’t enough, Chris suffered a highly-controversial technical knockout loss to Gegard Mousasi, pretty much ending any and all chances he had of ever reclaiming his title given the fact that the division was so clogged up with deserving contenders.

Soon thereafter, the whispers starting to trickle in. Was Chris really that good to begin with? Is he declining? Can he not keep up with the new breed of fighters? Are his best years behind him? You name it, Chris has probably heard it. But, he’s done a good job ignoring all of the chatter, as he still has confidence in himself and still feels he is the “best in the world.” He is quick to point out that one or two steps faster and he could easily be on a three fight win streak. And while that very well may be true, it kind of worries me a bit. That’s because I want Weidman to be 100-percent honest with himself if he’s going to snap out of his funk and move forward. Admit that you got schooled, which he did in his first two defeats, handily, while his Mousasi loss is and always will be embroiled in controversy.

He needs to learn from what he did wrong, he needs to stick to what he knows (his wrestling) and prepare to step into the cage against a fighter that, despite giving up a lot of size, has the speed, youth and ability to clean his clock. Sure, Chris has never said anything to downplay Gastelum’s skills, but I’ve also rarely heard Weidman flat out accept his defeats due to being superior to his opponent that specific night. Weidman is a great fighter, and he has the tools to turn it around, but he needs to put the past behind him, admit he can and will get better and improve on what cost him his last three fights. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having confidence in yourself despite a drought, that’s great, but if he doesn’t accept and learn from his mistakes and weakness and if he suffers his fourth straight loss, there is no telling what’s next for the former 185-pound champion. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 25 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For much more on this weekend’s UFC on FOX 25 event click here.

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