At one point in time, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was considered one of the most dominant fighters on the UFC roster. Unfortunately for ‘The All American’ that changed in 2015, when he found himself knocked out by Luke Rockhold in the 4th round of their UFC 194 co-main event fight, which saw him lose the middleweight championship.
Weidman was laid off on the sidelines for nearly a year with injuries before he returned to the Octagon in November at UFC 205 in New York. In that fight, the former champ looked to return to the win column in hopes of moving one step closer towards a shot at reclaiming the UFC title. Unfortunately for Weidman, he suffered the second straight defeat of his professional career, this time at the hands of Yoel Romero, who finished Weidman with a beautiful flying knee.
While many questioned Weidman’s sudden fall from dominance, his head coach, Ray Longo, believes his pupil plateaued. He spoke on The MMA Hour:
“If you think about it, there was only one way to go. You can’t keep going up and up and up,” Long said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “So we plateaued a little bit before. I think that’s going to be the mantra. That’s behind us, and we really had to go back to what got us there and really just move forward.”
“Look, it’s always exciting working your way up to the top, and it’s really hard to hold that. Who knows, I mean I think maybe we all got scattered a little bit. But we’re all back. We’re back. I really put a lot into this camp myself as a coach, and I got a lot of help from a lot of other people, which I appreciate. I’m really psyched for this fight.”
I would have never have thought we’d be in this position, but we are and we’re ready to tackle it and really write his comeback story, man.”
Only time will tell if Weidman is able to return to the win column this Saturday at UFC 210 when he faces Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/4/2017.