Former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman is targeting one final push to reclaim his old title before hanging up the gloves for good.
Chris Weidman has been a staple of the UFC’s 185lb division for many years now, having claimed the title by defeating the legendary Anderson Silva back in 2013. After defending the belt against Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, Weidman would come up short against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor.
Since then, the ‘All American’ has struggled with form, going 2-5 in the promotion. His most recent fight ended in disaster, when he took on Uriah Hall at UFC 261. Hall would check an early leg kick from Weidman, leading to the American shockingly breaking his shin bone, in one of the most graphic injury TKO’s in UFC history. The loss was bizarrely reminiscent of Weidman’s second victory over the aforementioned Anderson Silva, leading many to claim there was a curse being passed on from fighter to fighter.
Unsurprisingly, such an injury would take a long amount of time to recover from. Chris Weidman has been out of action since early 2021, but is now nearing full fitness once again. It was recently announced that he has been booked for a grappling match against Owen Livesey at Polaris 23.
However, this is only the beginning for Weidman. He now plans to return in full force, and mount another title run to reclaim his old belt. Speaking with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, the ‘All American’ laid out his goals for his UFC return:
“I’m not coming back to be a B-rated fighter or a gatekeeper or anything like that,” Chris Weidman said. “I went through all this hell not to just comeback and be like that. I’m going to come back and try to get back what is mine, try and get that belt.”
“After analyzing these guys and watching the middleweight division these last two years, with everyone at the top of the division, I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t beat those guys. I’m excited to work my way up and get there soon.”
“I have a lot of work to do, and I’m excited for the challenge. I’m not putting myself through this crap just to come back and like fight some guys that I know I can beat or have a big name fight. I’m trying to shock the world again. There’s not going to be too many people that are thinking I can come back, and that excites me. It puts a chip on my shoulder.” (H/T MMA Junkie)