UFC 230: Chris Weidman Provides an Interesting Update on What’s at Stake

Chris Weidman has been campaigning for a title shot for a while now, and just days out from UFC 230, the former middleweight champ’s reporting he’ll secure one, if he defeats “Jacare” Souza.

After Weidman’s run as champ was ended by Luke Rockhold in 2015, the “All-American” has repeatedly said he intends to get the belt back, even after he was also defeated by Gegard Mousasi and Yoel Romero. Then, after Weidman ended his losing streak last summer by submitting Kelvin Gastelum, the 34 year-old began calling for a crack at the 185 crown.

Well, as you know, that didn’t happen, and instead, thanks to two more victories, Gastelum is going to face the champ Robert Whittaker next. Weidman, meanwhile, is going to fight Souza on Saturday, now since Rockhold had to drop out of the co-headliner due to injuries.

Recently Weidman spoke with the media ahead of UFC 230, and he relayed the following, about what’s on the line (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“As a competitor, obviously I want all my rematches back, but the goal for me is to win the world championship,” Weidman said. “Hold that belt – that’s really what I’m doing this for. Whoever can get me there gets me there. If I can get rematches and it gets me there, it’s double as good.”

“I was told by my manager when I got the phone call about Luke being dropped out that I would be the replacement fight. If I win this fight, I’d be the replacement fight in case Gastelum gets injured, or I’d fight the winner.”

‘Jacare,’ it’s my ticket to what I want. A title fight is the goal. Whoever can get me there, that’s who I want to fight, and ‘Jacare’ does that. It doesn’t matter.”

Now, if you’re thinking ‘this could change’, chances are you’re not the only one. One could certainly make the case that if Weidman defeats Souza, he deserves a shot at the belt. After all, he’s a former champ, he’s ranked #3, and Souza is #5. Further, Weidman holds a win over the man who’s going to battle for the title next, in Gastelum.

But, is there a scenario where Weidman doesn’t lock up a title shot? Even if he wins? Possibly.

If Weidman defeats Souza, but just barely, and Israel Adesanya goes out and cruises through Derek Brunson, don’t be surprised if the UFC takes a look at “The Last Stylebender”. That would put Adesanya at 4-0 in the UFC, and a win over Brunson could move him into the top five.

Of course, there’s a lot of ifs in this scenario, and scoring an emphatic win over Brunson that buzzes the masses, won’t be easy.

UFC 230 will be hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York City.