On November 12, on the main card of UFC 205, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman will fight for the first time since he surrendered the title to Luke Rockhold last December. He’ll be returning to action against the dangerous Yoel Romero, and if he’s impressive in this return, he might just earn himself another crack at the middleweight throne.
Unless the middleweight division experiences a tectonic shift in the next few months, that would mean a fight with England’s Michael Bisping, who won the title with a first round knockout of Rockhold in June. Despite Bisping’s status as the champion, and the fact that he recently defeated MMA legend Dan Henderson to retain that title, Weidman is extremely confident in his chances against the Brit. In fact, he wouldn’t favor the current champion over any of the UFC’s top-10 middleweights.
“It’s crazy because the middleweight division right now, you’ve got probably one of the toughest divisions – except the champion,” Weidman told told Newsday in a recent Interview. “I feel like the champion is kind of the odd ball out. I think he’d be an underdog to all the top-10 guys.”
“I think [Derek] Brunson beats him, I think Mousasi beats him,” Weidman continued. “There’s a lot of guys that beat him. I have to look at the rankings, but he’s just at the door with the top 10 guys.”
In Weidman’s mind, Bisping shouldn’t even be wearing the belt, as he thinks Henderson did enough to steal the decision from Bisping when they fought earlier this month.
“I thought Dan Henderson won the fight, I thought he won rounds one, two and five,” Weidman explained. “I thought he should have got a 10-8 round, he had the guy finished in the first round and it could’ve been stopped.”
Despite Weidman’s skepticism, Bisping will remain the undisputed middleweight king until somebody can decisively prove he shouldn’t be. At the moment, there are several men vying to be that somebody. In addition to Weidman and Romero, who fight on November 12, Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza are also scheduled to battle in the near future, and the winner of that fight could well jump to the front of the contendership line. Outside of these four middleweights, Gegard Mousasi, Derek Brunson and Robert Whittaker are also circling Bisping’s throne, while welterweight stars like Georges St-Pierre and Nick Diaz are also rumored to be possibilities for Bisping’s next defense.
Do you think Bisping will keep his belt for much longer? Sound off, PENN nation!