Chris Weidman got himself back in the win column on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 6, but it wasn’t exactly the prettiest win you’ve ever seen.
His opponent Omari Akhmedov got in more than a few mean looking punches on Weidman, and when Chris started to slow down and tire halfway through the second it looked like Akhmedov was on the verge of taking over. Fortunately for the former middleweight champion, Akhmedov turned out to be just as tired in the third, allowing Weidman to smother him in the third round with his superior wrestling skills.
“I guess some times it’s not the way you expect it to be, but you gotta keep grinding through,” he said in a post-fight interview with Megan Olivi. “I guess that’s what I did, but I’m not too happy with that performance. I’m happy to get a W but it’s not what I expected and I’m just a little bummed out. But at the same time it could be much worse.”
“I really felt great in sparring doing a lot of that motion on the feet,” Weidman explained at the post-fight press conference. “But the goal on this one, I knew my bread and butter is the wrestling and the takedowns. So the goal was to just stay relaxed and not play too much on the feet. A lot of my fights in the past, I’m winning on the feet and then I got caught just trying to go for it, being exciting. So the goal was try to get to my bread and butter this time as much as possible.”
“It was just such a weird fight,” he continued. “It was so sloppy. Every time I got to his legs, I was like a little bit off, a little bit too low on the leg or a little bit too high. The weight was just off. It turned into a sloppy fight. But it came down to that third round, I was able to dig deep and come up with the W. Even in the second round when he was getting to the single leg, I was going for this new choke I was doing and every time he just f**king took me down.”
“So I was like ‘Damnit, what am I doing, I gotta stop doing it! I gotta get back to my overhook and wrist. But I went for it, it was a scrappy fight. I’m just happy to get back inside the octagon and find a way to win. He was strong as hell. He’s a scrappy guy. He hasn’t lost in six fights so it was good to get out there and start over again in the middleweight division.”
Not much was said about Weidman’s conditioning, but he referenced the sloppiness of the fight (a byproduct of the exhaustion) multiple times.
“Even in some of my finest moments in that fight, it was sloppy, and I really kind of pride myself on being a technician and making things look pretty and making it look easy,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do that tonight. But I do think it was a step in the right direction to get a W against a tough guy. I’m excited to get in there with some of these top tier guys at middleweight and really start making a statement. I feel like I’m renewed and I got a fresh start here.”
It’s not surprising that Chris is looking to get right back in the cage and make up for all that lost time due to injuries.
“I’m ready to move pretty damn quick here,” Weidman said. “I’m healthy, I’ve been training pretty damn hard since May, and I feel great. So I wanna get going pretty damn quick here. So we’ll talk to the UFC. I’m moving this month, so I gotta focus on that the next couple weeks. And then I’ll be ready to go. I’m going to stay in shape and be ready to go.”
It’s going to be an uphill battle for Weidman to prove he can still hang with the best of the stacked UFC 185 pound division, but that’s when he shines.
“The more pressure the better,” he said. “At the end of the day, I truly love to do this, I love to have all that pressure on myself. I love that feeling of being a little scared and that feeling of wanting to run away from a situation and pushing through those moments. It’s good.”