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Monday, 01/28/2013, 09:18 am

Chris Weidman: Still Just a Prospect | Editorial | UFC News


With another win comes another call to the champion in a given division, demanding a title shot and a chance to dethrone greatness. Such is the case for UFC middleweight, Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC). Weidman has looked great in his UFC performances and spectacular in his last fight against Mark Munoz, which ended in a second round KO for the New York native.

As a top prospect it is extremely probable that we will one day see him in the Octagon across from middleweight champion, Anderson Silva in a great stylistic clash between the greatest fighter in the world today and a man who could be the greatest fighter tomorrow.

The key word though, is tomorrow. In a world full of unwarranted UFC title shots with three confirmed fights in 2013 featuring a challenger coming off of a loss, I would have to add Weidman to a similar list. While being undefeated, I just can’t board the Weidman train to Title Town just yet.

Even though Weidman has been lobbying for a shot at Silva via Twitter, Fan Q&A’s,

But, before the comment section explodes with accusations of blasphemy and hurtful insults on my low levels of intelligence, lets take a look at Weidman’s UFC opponents in chronological order.

First, there is Alessio Sakara. A streaky middleweight who is just a few losses away from a .500 record and one that hasn’t officially won a fight since 2010. Sure, he beat Patrick Cote down but with a multitude of illegal punches to the back of the head, Sakara had the win taken from him.

Next is Jesse Bongfeldt, which is a relative step down in competition based on his notoriety. Another opponent, another dominant win. With Bongfeldt though, Weidman faced a man who doesn’t have a win in the UFC which in some cases is like breaking a HR record in the minor leagues but not enjoying nearly the same success in the majors. What I’m saying is even at 15-4 outside of the UFC, Bongfeldt couldn’t get it done where it mattered.

Moving laterally along the contender list, we saw Weidman dominate and defeat Tom Lawlor who falls in line with Sakara as one who makes his career on brief win streaks only to become stagnant as the proverbial gatekeeper in the division.

With an injury to Michael Bisping, Weidman got his first test against a top-10 middleweight, at the time at least, in Demian Maia. Maia was overwhelmed and beaten by unanimous decision in a fight he never showed up for.

Talking about these last two fights is when I get the most flak for denying Weidman his title shot so let me explain.

First of all, dubbing Maia as a former title challenger couldn’t be farther from the truth. Instead, Maia was a late replacement for both Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen in a card that was making its debut in Abu Dhabi and couldn’t afford to take Silva off the card. Also, while Maia is a dangerous jiu-jitsu practitioner, he hasn’t finished a fight at middleweight since 2009.

As for the Mark Munoz win, a knockout over a top contender is all you can say about it. Munoz is good and has always been near the top of the division and Weidman made him look unprepared.

Simply based on past competition, however, being ranked in the top three seems premature. With proven veterans Vitor Belfort, Ronaldo Souza, and Hector Lombard all improving even at this stage of their career, why not pit Weidman against some of them to silence critics like myself who want Weidman to defend his unofficial title as number one contender while also leaving a clear cut candidate for the most unachievable title in MMA, just above light-heavyweight champion.

All three fighters wouldn’t be able to get held down easily by the wrestling stand out while at the same time, their raw physicality and black belts in jiu-jitsu would test Weidman, who holds a purple belt under Matt Serra. but could always use real world practice against fighters who could match his strength.

Weidman is a great fighter but why not groom the 28-year old even for one more year while letting him face top-level competition and accruing a record that holds not inly fellow middleweights but maybe a fellow top middleweight prospect like fellow Serra-Longo teammate Costa Philippou or the aforementioned trio of veterans. For right now though, there is nothing Weidman can say that wold legitimize a claim for title as he doesn’t possess the same level of trash talking as Chael Sonnen or unreal, unorthodox, and undeniable skill of Jon Jones who won the title in division that couldn’t hold a champion for more than two fights since Chuck Liddell ruled the division.

Or better yet, send him on for his tenth fight ever in only his fourth year as a professional against a man who has single-handedly reshaped a sport whilst defeating some of the best fighters on the planet, all of which come from various and diverse stylistic backgrounds. A man who has spent almost 16 years fighting and is currently riding a win streak that almost doubles the entire career of Weidman, with 15 out of the total of 17 have been brutal finishes. Silva has proven himself against all-comers and has shown that no matter what level of expertise you bring in any particular area, he can counter it and make you pay for trying. Weidman is also coming off of an injury that could take little more time to heal up and pit him against Silva after around a year off of fighting during which time challengers have risen and fallen and risen again in their claim for the middleweight title. A fight that, on paper, at this stage in Weidman’s career, goes to Silva 9 out of 10 times in my opinion.

But Weidman wants the shot, along with what seems like the majority of the MMA fanbase so I say, why not, lets see what he’s made of and come the end of this year, who knows, maybe I’ll be eating my words.

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31 Responses to “Chris Weidman: Still Just a Prospect | Editorial | UFC News”

  1. DelisleBA says:

    Sounds reasonable. Before he gets the Spider let’s see him fight one or two more fights. A ton of options exists; Belfort, Bisping, Lombard, Stan, Cung Le etc…

    • GRT 3000 says:

      I agree man…Weidman is most definitely a prospect, but he needs to win a few more fights against top guys before he calls out the GOAT. It’s that simple. I’m tired of these up and comers winning a few fights and then going all Chael Sonnen on the champ. Prove it – make an undisputable case for the #1 contendership. That’s what this sport is all about. All of the circus title shot b/s that’s been happening in the UFC needs to go.

  2. Texas says:

    So Mr. Conklin, do you want this fight or not? You spent an entire article discrediting Weidman’s credentials then you say , why not? Silva is the king, greatest of all time in my opinion. Who the next shot at him? Cung Le? Belfort, who was finished in the 1St round by Silva? Sonnen, again? I Silva getting a shot after beating Chris Leben. I’m not questioning your intelligence. You just seem to to any UFC decision. In this case , you’re questioning MMA fans. A lot of them, anyway. UFC gives something to write about. We all have different opinions. Please write about who IS the number-1 contender? Not who isn’t? Thank you, Mr. Conklin.

    • Adam Conklin says:

      I can respect that. I said why not because I can see it happening and the title of calling him just a prospect isn’t meant to be a knock on Chris Weidman but instead stating my opinion as to his status. He has had some time off and his biggest opponent was Munoz. I believe he needs more to be a serious contender but in an age where losers get title shots, why not? Silva getting a shot is different because he was already a veteran from Pride who beat Leben by landing almost 100% of his shots while putting away an opponent with a granite chin. No one really deserves the title shot right now and even a unification isn’t really necessary in my opinion, thats why Weidman should fight a few more times to clear things up a bit.

  3. Mike says:

    He will probably only get ONE shot at Silva. He should test his stills a little more for HIS OWN SAKE before entering against the greatest.

  4. FREDERIC VALO says:

    I think he needs one top fighter before Anderson.

    If he beats BELFORT he will be definitely the TOP CONTENDER.

    But he didn’t beat anyone but MUNOZ so far and MUNOZ is not the REAL DEAL in the DIVISION at all.

    So he needs to fight someone better.

    BELFORT I think could be a great win for him for THE TS.


  5. FREDERIC VALO says:




  6. Colin says:

    This points all made a lot more sense before Jon Jones came along. Munoz is better than anyone Jones beat before the title shot and the rest are pretty comparable.

    • DudeSRSLY says:

      Umm Bader(title contender at the time, also undefeated before he fought Jones)… Vera (Who was nasty at the time)… Matyushenko (true veteran) And on top of that, Weidman is not doing what Jon Jones does in there. Jon Jones has a better wrestling pedigree than Weidman and Jones was going in and knocking people out. 9-0 in a division that big is not impressive. If he was a 9-0 heavyweight, ya I’d be impressed but he’s not. He’s a middleweight with only 2 actual opponents.

  7. Evan Holober says:

    Ignores reality, and sadly feels like its been written by a guy who has been watching MMA maybe a few years. Just a few points I have to pick apart:

    “Maia was overwhelmed and beaten by unanimous decision in a fight he never showed up for.”

    The first leap in logic you make to buck reality, and force your opinion.

    Demian Maia was beaten by a better fighter in this fight. He showed up. He gave it 100%, and he looked bad. Not because he didn’t take Weidman seriously/this was the worsed he’s ever been in the cage; but because Weidman is that good.

    Weidman demolished a top 10 MW on 2-3 weeks notice after cutting 30 lbs. Acting like its anything different then that is just making up excuses.

    “First of all, dubbing Maia as a former title challenger couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

    But it really couldn’t. He’s not the first, and as your article points out, he’s not the last to get a somewhat unwarranted title shot. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen though, and out of the two men who he filled in for (one which he subbed in the first), he was the only one not stopped.

    “As for the Mark Munoz win, a knockout over a top contender is all you can say about it. Munoz is good and has always been near the top of the division and Weidman made him look unprepared.”

    You could go one further, if you were looking for 100% accuracy, and point him out as the next in line for a title shot (at the time). Because if he would have beaten Weidman, he would have gotten the shot against Anderson.

    “Simply based on past competition, however, being ranked in the top three seems premature.”

    No based on past competition, he is exactly where beating ranked competition takes him (in the top three). Demian Maia was ranked anywhere from #7-10 when he fought, and beat him. Mark Munoz was ranked anywhere from #3-6. When beating those guys, then having a bunch of contenders lose (Bisping, Boestch, Lombard, Souza), or leave the division (Sonnen); a high ranking is achieved. It’s simple.

    “With proven veterans Vitor Belfort, Ronaldo Souza, and Hector Lombard…”

    Vitor already lost to Anderson, and he doesn’t even care to fight again apparently. Lombard lost to Boestch, then beat a Palhares that just lost to Belcher (on top of that; why is he a proven veteran to you? He’s fougth zero top ten fighters in his career.) Souza lost to Rockhold already, so why would he jump him? Although, I’ve always been a big fan of him, he doesn’t deserve a number one contender yet.

    “All three fighters wouldn’t be able to get held down easily by the wrestling stand out while at the same time, their raw physicality and black belts in jiu-jitsu would test Weidman, who holds a purple belt under Matt Serra. but could always use real world practice against fighters who could match his strength”

    This is the paragraph which gave me the thought about you maybe not following MMA for that long of a period. Belfort has been “held down” by plenty of guys in his career. Lombard has never faced anyone even on the same planet in grappling ability as Weidman. Souza could give him some trouble, but Maia did next to nothing (and they have basically the same credentials).

    Not to mention the part about you completely glossing over the part about Weidman being a prodigy on the ground. We’re talking about a wrestler here that held his own with Andre Galvao after training BJJ for less than 2 years. That’s unreal, and that was 4 years ago.

    “Weidman is also coming off of an injury that could take little more time to heal up and pit him against Silva after around a year off of fighting during which time challengers have risen and fallen and risen again in their claim for the middleweight title. A fight that, on paper, at this stage in Weidman’s career, goes to Silva 9 out of 10 times in my opinion.”

    You almost make the correct leap in logic here, but sadly it didn’t click. There is nobody for Anderson right now. Ed Soares is trying to push Cung Le for christs sake. All the other reputable contenders have dropped off, and Weidman is ready to go.

    Or you could have the other contenders and him fight for a shot at Silva so Anderson sits on the shelf til late 2013/2014.

    However, nobody should wish for that.

  8. DudeSRSLY says:

    Weidman is 9 – 0 in a division where ALMOST EVERYONE has 15+ fights. He’s not 9-0 at Heavyweight people, it’s Middleweight. Bader was 12-0 at Light Heavyweight when he fought Jones for a contender spot. WEIDMAN DESERVES NOTHING BUT A CONTENDER!!

    • cats says:

      Bader was fighting Jones in a fight that turned into a contender shot when the original contender was injured. If Rashad fought and won, a rematch with lyoto or even one with Shogun might have been made instead of putting Jones in there. and Bader lost to his first high level opponent in Jones, then to Tito, then Machida. He isn’t ready for the title.

  9. DiabloDiamond says:

    Silva has a limited number of fights left in him. He’s still the best ever, but at some point he will lose, most likely to a wrestler. If you are Weidman, you beg for the chance to do what no UFC fighter has been able to do. Even a 10% chance at glory is completely worth it in my book. Also, Silva has had his share of weak opponents like Travis Lutter, James Irvin, Griffin, Bonner… Wow, I just realized that 3 of those were in Light Heavy Division, and all 3 tested positive after the fight. Also, Lutter didn’t make weight for his title shot. Weidman deserves the shot based on his ability show up and deliver for the UFC.

  10. Texas says:

    Well, everybody seems to disagree with me. My point is: Was Buster Douglas the TRUE number one contender to Iron Mike? Was Leon Spinks and Ken Norton the true #1 contenders to Ali? Was Anderson Silva the true #1 when he beat down Franklin? Hindsight, there’s no question that Anderson is the greatest. But we all had to trust the UFC when they set that fight up. Weidman poses many threats to Anderson, can he beat him though? Who knows. I do know that Belfort got knocked out in the 1st round to Silva. I do know that Lombard was beaten by Boetch. Dan Henderson was almost strangled to death in the 2nd round against Silva. Bisping just got ko’d. I would rather Silva faced GSP or Bones too but thats not going to happen any time soon. Weidman, in my opinion, is the only logical fight for Silva right now. Not the biggest name and it may be another Silva massacre but I would pay to watch Silva no matter who he fights.

  11. Seriously. says:

    Seriously, how is this such a debate. How does this doesn’t make sense. Belfort vs weidman for #1 contender. Belfort is a badass. He’s been getting title shots like crazy but the guy is really up there. I don’t think he could beat silva. But he’s staying top contender for a while. After defeating the next oponent for silva (bisping). He needs more consideration. I agree with not giving him another title shot, yet. But I think that weidman and vitor need to fight for the spot. And I think I’m still giving weidman too much credit. The biggest reason why weidman is being put up there it’s because he has been advertising himself for the title like crazy. Everytime he talks he mentions he wants the title shot. But that doesn’t mean he deserves it just because of that. I think one or two more wins then he should get it. Vs bisping. Souza. Boestch. Lombard. Belfort.

  12. AttackButton says:

    Bader went 12-0 before fighting Jones, which in turn earned Jones his shot instead of Bader. Machida 14-0 before his shot at Evans, and look at the fighters he faced to get that record. Evans was 11-0-1 before fighting Liddell. Maia was 11-0 without getting his shot. Bispbing went 14-0 with no title shot. Phil Davis was once 9-0 without mention of a title shot. Now look at the fights that these guys all took before their title shots or non shot. The fighters they faced to get there or where they are now are all better than Weidman’s resume… I made this account because of all of this Weidman is scaring SIlva crap. All the haters say “Oh Silva doesn’t want to fight him cos he’s scared” about all of his opponents, right up until they’re on the ground holding their head or stomach or just gazing up at the ceiling during an impromptu nap.

    By the way, these two middleweights have better perfect records than Weidman…
    Stanislav Nedkov 12-0
    Lorenz Larkin 13-0

    If you haven’t beaten anyone on my list below, how can you be considered a contender at Middleweight at all?
    Jacare Souza
    Michael BispBing
    Vitor Belfort
    Hector Lombard
    Yushin Okami
    Jake Shields
    Rich Franklin
    Cung Le

    • Texas says:

      Yeah! LOL! Let’s see Silva-Franklin again! Cung Le was ko’d by Wanderlei Silva. Jake Shields just got popped for testing positive for illegal substances. Lombard was beat by big slow white guy. Bisping was just ko’d. Souza could be interesting but I find it curious how you left out the guy who BEAT him! Luke Rockhold! Lol! Nedkov-Anderson Silva would be a HUGE PPV hit! Larkin- Anderson would be even BIGGER! LOL! Attack Button….are you really Mr. Conklin? Lol!

      • Guss says:

        Be that as it may, Weidman hasn’t face the competition these guys have fought. And even with their losses, they are still bigger competition than who Weidman has fought. Lombard’s loss to Boetsch was all about the UFC jitters, which has been proven. Clearly, his demolition of Okami negated that loss and criticism. Bisping…well, he got KO’d by Belfort. But before that he’s beaten Stann, Akiyama, and Dan Miller. Personally, I’d like to see Chris fight the new guys coming into the UFC. Souza, Larkin, or Nedkov. Not only would it be a good welcome fight for the newcomers, but would also legitimize Weidman’s run for a title shot down the road.

        • Texas says:

          I respect your comment, Gus. But, will you please state who should fight Anderson. If no one is good enough to fight him, do we really want to wait around another 6-12 months waiting for a super fight that may not happen (contractual issues or injury)? That’s my whole problem with Mr. Conklin’s article. He always says who is not worthy but never says who IS! Anderson is 38 and we only have a few more years to watch him fight. At some point in every fighters career, they were given an oppurtunity. I’m not saying that Weidman is the hands down number 1 contender, but if he ain’t- who is? Rashad Evans would be good but everyone will disagree with that to because he hasn’t beat a top middleweight either (except for Bisping but was at light heavyweight). Please, do we want to sit Anderson down and waist a year out of his carreer to make sure the #1 is a #1? FIGHT! I will buy his PPV whoever he fights and I’m guessing everyone on this blog would too!

    • Guss says:

      Bingo AttackButton. My sentiments exactly.

  13. Texas says:

    Ok then. We would rather sit Anderson Silva on the shelf until people fight it out to see who faces him. He is 38 years old. Maybe he could fight Forrest Griffen or Bonner again while we wait for the Belfort_Weidman winner? He needs to fight somebody. How bout Sugar Rashaad then? I’m up for that one. Weidman-Rashad are our only 2 choices if we want to see Anderson fight soon. But I guess everyone will have a problem with that one too. After all, Mr. Conklin, he just lost to Bones Jones…

  14. Time To Wrestle says:

    Ok let me bring some sanity in here. WTF Conklin?? First Andy is f1ckin’ old!!, the dude is going to get beat up real soon. He knows it and that’s why he wants big fights to make MONEY before he heads off into the sunset. (hopefully soon). Weidman is bad for him in 2 ways; 1.) not a superfight so less moola and 2.) (this is the most important) He knows Weidman has a real good chance of beating his ass up and when he does, guess what girls, NO MORE SUPERFIGHTS and no more moola except from his deluded nuthuggers that think he is the GOAT..bwahahahahahahaha. These are the same people who think Belfort is the Belfort of 10 years ago..
    Andy WILL lose to Weidman!!!

    • Thom says:

      How the fuck is Anderson not the GOAT? Because you say so? ANd who are you again? lmao. Hur dur you wrestlers are the toughest ever.. right up until you get punched or kneed an curl up like your boy chael did.
      And stop calling all the guys ‘girls’, makes you sound extremely gay.

      • Time To Wrestle says:

        Thom are you gay? You seem to see gayness everywhere girl!! By the way, dudes that spell Tom with an H in it are usually a homo. I know you’re European so I’ll give you a pass on this one. But the seeing gayness everywhere is getting to be indicative. Are you afraid of homo’s? lmao.

        The fact is wrestlers ARE just tougher than everybody else. You obviously have never done it our you would KNOW.

        Now Andy being the GOAT..bwahahahahahhahaha. Fighting in the weakest division in the UFC next to the featherweights. Both your heroes are champions in the weakest divisions in the UFC. Andy will ONLY be a goat if he goes to 205 and wins there. Then I will believe he is the real GOAT. NO the real GOAT is and has been GSP. He fights in the toughest division of the UFC. Nobody is even close to him.

        Did you get that little girl?? rofl

  15. Time To Wrestle says:

    …oh did I forget to say that weidman is so hot. I wish I could sit on him. So leave him alone. He’s mine. !

  16. Shawn says:

    I couldn’t agree more. That’s what I’ve been saying. Imo, Weidman has proven that he can hang in the MW division. Now he has to prove he can fight among the top fighters of the division. At least a decisive win over any of the two mentioned in the author’s article. I’d even say, put him up against Bisping for his first step to title contention. And a second win over Belfort, Henderson, or Okami, would definitely put him on the fast track to number one contender status. Until then, he’s still just a prospect.

    People may argue that he’s 5-0 in the UFC. But look at a Fitch and Edgar. Fitch was unbeaten in 8 fights before getting a shot a the title. And Edgar fought 13 fights, losing only one of those to Maynard (which was a close fight), before getting a shot at the LW title and winning. Pay your dues.

  17. jiblitz says:

    Weidman has more talent wrestling then Sonnen. His reach is the same, he’s younger and in better shape with great reaction time. Munoz was no hack. He was a national champion out of okl. st. and Weidman handled him with ease. DM just had a big win over JF at UFC 156. Weidman owned DM in a fight he lost 31 lbs. in ten days for. He is mentally and physically tougher than any opponent that Silva has faced thus far.

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