Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Chris Weidman, insists the door hasn’t completely shut on his 185-pound title run, but I think it’s safe to say that after losing four of his last five — all finishes — it’s light heavyweight or bust.
There’s really no reason to look in the rear-view mirror, either, as the 34 year-old “All American” defeated Anderson Silva to capture the crown, which he then defended three consecutive times. There’s not much else to prove as a middleweight.
“I’ve accomplished my goals,” Weidman said before UFC 238. “I’ve had that belt wrapped around me four different times. I really wanted to get it back, and I’m not saying the door is totally shut on that idea, but the weight cuts are tough, and I kind of want to see what my body is like without depleting itself. I won’t be the biggest 205er, that’s definitely for sure. But I don’t think I’ll be the smallest. I think I bring things to the table that could be an issue for a lot of those guys.”
Weidman has been calling for a move to light heavyweight for several years with a specific goal of fighting Jon Jones for the division strap. No doubt the success of former middleweights Anthony Smith and Thiago Santos, who each earned the right to break “Bones,” makes an “All American” title run seem plausible.
“It’s nice to see guys come up from ‘85 and do really well. It definitely gives you more confidence but it’s not something I’ve focused on,” Weidman said. “I’ve had a few losses, but the first one is the one you always look back to. That’s one I would love a rematch in. I don’t know if that’s going to be my first fight at 205, but I definitely see us crossing paths again.”
Weidman (14-4) was soundly defeated by Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, which sent him into a 185-pound tailspin. While their championship rematch never materialized due to injuries (paving the way for this), Rockhold has since set sail for the higher weight class, citing similar issues as his “All American” nemesis.
Anyone expect a different result the second time around?