Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman says he was all for fighting Khamzat Chimaev later this year before a rib injury derailed those plans.

Chimaev burst onto the scene earlier this year and has since picked up three emphatic wins and a load of fans. The undefeated prospect is receiving a huge push from the UFC brass who have slated him in a headline slot against welterweight #3 Leon Edwards on December 19.

For a while, the Swedish fighter was struggling to find an opponent. Chimaev took to Twitter and accused Weidman of turning down the opportunity to headline alongside him.

In a recent interview with Submission Radio Weidman explained that he initially accepted a fight with Chimaev before realizing he wouldn’t be 100 percent fit until early next year.

“They offered me Chimaev, I said yes. Then I started getting really excited about it, and then I said, well, so I got a little bit of a rib injury right now, a cartilage rib injury. And if you’re anybody who’s had that, it’s just a pain in the ass,” Weidman said. “You’ve got to be really careful with not reinjuring it or bothering it. So, I’ve kinda gotta work around that right now. So, I told them, I’m down to fight whoever at mid-January, but I really want that Chimaev fight. Just because of everyone acting as if everyone is scared of him and all that, and to me, I always want to fight the best guys. And so, if everybody thinks he’s that good, let’s see it. And I have a hard time imagining anybody throwing me around. In any of my losses, it wasn’t like a dominant win, it was, holy crap, out of nowhere, and fights that I was winning, other than my Reyes fight. And so, I just have a hard time seeing anybody manhandling me and throwing me around. I just can’t imagine that happening. So, I would love to see that if that’s what everybody thinks that he could do. So, that kind of excited me. But next thing I know, he’s fighting the number three guy at welterweight. So, obviously my fight with him is probably not gonna be happening anytime soon, if I had to guess.”

Do you still want to see Chris Weidman vs. Khamzat Chimaev?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.