clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Beast’ Chris Weidman will retire as UFC middleweight champion — ‘I’m a different animal right now’

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman recently tested positive for COVID-19 and was removed from his Uriah Hall fight at UFC 258 later this month in Las Vegas, but is likely to be rescheduled for “Prime Time” at UFC 261 on April 24.

Just don’t expect a lesser version of the “All American,” even with his recent illness.

“I gotta say, I’m a freakin’ beast right now,” Weidman told Submission Radio. “I’m a different animal right now. I feel good, minus the coronavirus. I really am fully engaged and motivated to go out there and make a statement, and I’m going to be very hard to beat. So, I’m coming at him, and I could see me finishing him in the first round again. I could also see me breaking his will and it might head to second or third round, but I’m gonna finish him.”

Weidman (15-5), whose struggles over the last few years left him sitting outside the Top 10, captured a first-round technical knockout victory over Hall (16-9) in their Ring of Combat 31 main event back in Sept. 2010 and expects history to repeat itself in their second go-round.

“A big win, a huge statement on pay-per-view, dominating finish definitely puts me back up in the mix,” Weidman continued. “Whether it’s one, two, three fights until I’m fighting for the title, it definitely puts me back into the mix. To go out there and be able to finish Uriah Hall, I think puts me right back in the mix. Especially with my resume already. So, I’m excited, man. I really want to finish my career on a high note. I want to finish it with that belt in my hands and be able to walk away. And I know I got the potential to do it, and I just gotta stay active and keep working hard, and the sky’s the limit.”

Weidman, last seen capturing a unanimous decision victory over Omari Akhmedov, turns 37 in June.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania