Although Chris Weidman has incurred multiple setbacks in recent years, the former middleweight champ sounds as confident and motivated as ever. Yes, even thought he’s decided to move up to a stacked, light-heavyweight division.
Weidman has talked about the possibility of competing at 205 for quite some time. But, not long ago “The All-American” announced he’s leaving 185 behind for the light-heavyweight division. Not only that, the 35 year-old let it be known he’s not interested in taking a warm up fight when he makes the move. Even though he’s been sidelined due to injuries and has dropped four of his last five contests.
“That’s definitely on the agenda,” Weidman said about a rematch with Rockhold. “I don’t know if that would be my first fight or not, but I think your first loss definitely hurts the most. To have the opportunity to get that one back is definitely something I want to do.”
Rockhold is booked to fight Jan Blachowicz at UFC 239 on Saturday, and if he wins that, don’t be surprised if he calls for a scrap with Jones. Weidman has also expressed an interest in facing the 205 champ in the past, and during the aforementioned interview, he said this about “Bones”:
“I’ve got to fight some other guys first, but at some point, that’s the goal,” Weidman said. “When I was at 185, the goal was to hold the belt at 185 for as long as I could, then go up to 205 and win the belt over there.
“It didn’t work according to my plan perfectly. But now I’m at 205, and I definitely think I have the tools to beat (Jones).”
Ya. There’s certainly several emerging contenders at light-heavyweight right now. So, Weidman will likely need to record a couple of wins before he can secure a title shot. But, similar to Rockhold, one would think his path to a title shot will be shorter than other, non-former champs.
That aside, it will be interesting to see how Weidman looks at 205, and whether his wrestling, mauling top game and underrated striking can be as effective at that weight.
Jones, meanwhile, is scheduled to face Thiago Santos at UFC 239.