Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion Chris Weidman ended his two-fight skid and avoided losing six of his last seven by defeating a streaking Omari Akhmedov this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 8, 2020) at UFC Vegas 6.
It wasn’t an easy win, as Weidman had to rally to pull off the unanimous decision win (albeit a “sloppy” one). So after earning a new lease on his combat life, “All American” can now breathe, admitting that though he tried to ignore any talk of pressure going into the fight, there was plenty of it.
Especially after having to hear all of the critics pretty much saying he was washed up.
“I really do a good job to try and tell myself that there is no pressure,” Weidman on The Ariel Helwani MMA Show. “But looking back there was so much pressure in this fight. I really wanted this ‘W.’ All the doubters and the haters and everyone saying I should retire, ‘No Chin Weidman, you suck,’ all this stuff, it fueled me.
“It fueled me because I know my potential and that I still have it and I am still capable of facing the best guys in the world and beating them based on my training with the best guys in the world,” he continued.
Despite his previous losing streak, Weidman takes solace in the fact that he was “competitive” in the bouts until getting knocked out.
“A lot of the guys I was in there, the only losses I have are against Top 5 guys and I was competitive with all of them. Other than the Reyes fight, I will give him that, it was too quick to say I was competitive.
“But every 185 pounder I have been competitive against them and I am right in there with them,” he continued. “But you got to win that night, get your hand raised. It was just a lot of pressure to get my freaking hand raised.”
As far as what’s next for the former 185-pound champion of the world, that’s a bit unclear at the moment. But after getting called out for a rematch against Luke Rockhold, Weidman doesn’t seem too keen on getting revenge.
At least not right now.
“I don’t know what that does for me. It’s a fight that I get a win back. But he hasn’t done much in a while. He is coming off retirement a win over him doesn’t do much for me and I really want to put myself in title contention,” he said. “Id rather fight a guy who is up in the rankings more. I don’t know. I am not completely opposed to it but I’m not really sure what makes sense right now.”
According to Weidman, Rockhold — who knocked him out at UFC 194 to take his Middleweight title — needs to put some work in before he gets a “big, big” rematch against him.
“For him to just come right back and have a fight against me, a big, big fight, he should put some work in.”
Rockhold has only been out for close to a year now, and though he is coming off two straight knockout defeats, Weidman is just 2-5 over the last five years so he might not be in the best position to be turning down fights.
That being said, “All American” didn’t exactly close the door on the rematch, but would rather fight someone like Derek Brunson next.