Last weekend, in the main event of UFC 221, former Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero knocked out former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold. With this win, Romero is believed to have earned himself a crack at reigning UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. Not everybody, however, believes he deserves this chance, as he lost a decision to Whittaker just last year. File former champ Chris Weidman into this group.
While Weidman was impressed with Romero’s win, he believes he’s got a bit more work to do before earning a rematch with Whittaker. In his eyes, he himself is more deserving of the next middleweight title shot.
Chris Weidman made his case for a title shot in a post UFC 221 chat with Submission Radio.
“As far as who should fight Whittaker [next], I don’t know, I think I should,” Weidman said. “What’s [Kelvin] Gastelum ranked? Top-five? He’s ranked fifth? I just finished him, he’s never got finished in his career. So I’m coming off a win. Romero [was] coming off a loss. He ended up beating Luke, but he already lost to Whittaker.”
While Weidman believes he deserves a shot at Whittaker, he understands that he’ll likely need to pick up another win or two first. In that event, he’s prepared to fight somebody like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza – though his current priority is healing up a lingering thumb injury.
“As soon as I’m healthy, I want to set [up] a fight. Whether it’s fighting for the title – obviously that would be the best case scenario for me. But if it’s Jacare or another guy, that’s fine.”
“I just gotta get my thumb healthy. I feel like my fight with Kelvin Gastelum, was a good fight. I think I learned a lot from my other fights that I lost prior to that, and it was good for me. I had a very meteoric rise, and out of nowhere I lost three in a row, and so it was a good learning experience for me. I learned a lot from it, and now I’m prepared to take everything back.”
Would you be interested in a fight between Chris Weidman and Robert Whittaker?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/11/2018.