Chris Weidman

Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will step up to the light heavyweight division for his next bout, taking on top contender Dominick Reyes at UFC on ESPN 6.

Weidman believes the change is the right one at the right time.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for me to make a real big statement in the 205-pound division, as opposed to me taking a guy on that most people think I can beat and they’re not ranked as highly. This is a guy a lot of people are believing in and thinking he’s got a chance of fighting for the belt and possibly being a champion one day, and so for me to come along and go out there and have a good performance against him, I think it puts me right in the discussion at 205. So, I think it’s a great opportunity for me,” Weidman said during a recent interview with Submission Radio. “He’s never even faced a wrestler, let alone a wrestler of my pedigree and my MMA experience, and he’s never had a taste of that. I mean, he got taken down four times from Oezdemir. And Oezdemir, I don’t think had more than two takedowns in his UFC career. So, I think the wrestling, along with my Jiu Jitsu, is the real x-factor; and the pace. Everyone can stop one or two or three takedowns, but I’m not gonna stop coming. And he also has to worry about my hands hitting his chin. So, I just think I bring a lot of danger to the table.”

Chris Weidman On Jon Jones, Dominick Reyes

The 35-year-old Weidman is just 1-4 over his last five fights, falling via finish to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Gegard Mousasi, Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold. He opened his MMA career with 13 consecutive wins, besting the likes of Vitor Belfort, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida.

Related: Chris Weidman Makes Move Against Dominick Reyes
“Being the guy that shocks the world, not once but twice, against what people think are the greatest of all time, and against someone that most people think can’t even be beaten. And that’s where Anderson Silva was when I fought him and this is where Jon Jones is right now, and so that motivates the hell out of me. That’s the legacy I want,” Weidman said.

UFC on ESPN 6 takes place Friday, October 18 from the TD Garden in Boston. Other planned bouts include Maycee Barber vs. Gillian Robertson and Greg Hardy vs. Ben Sosoli.