Chris Weidman defends recent struggles at middleweight: “It’s all fights that they’re top five guys”

Chris Weidman, New York Islanders, NHL

UFC middleweight Chris Weidman has given his thoughts on the recent struggles he’s experienced at middleweight since losing the title back in late 2015.

Ever since Luke Rockhold brought his tenure as champion to an end in devastating fashion, Weidman has struggled to get back on the horse. In addition to his quick defeat against Dominick Reyes at light heavyweight, the All-American has lost to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Gegard Mousasi and Yoel Romero – with his only win since 2015 coming against Kelvin Gastelum.

During a media day appearance ahead of his return on Saturday night, Weidman spoke about why he believes he’s struggled so much in recent years.

“It’s all fights that they’re top five guys that I was right in there with and there’s no shame in that,” he said. “They’re all guys I was doing really well against them, other than the (Dominick) Reyes fight. He got me, he kind of got me early, so I wasn’t able to get as much out of that as I’d like to.”

“And that’s sometimes how mixed martial arts works. So I just know what my potential is, and I know that I did everything right in training, and I’m just going to go out there and put everything on the line and we’ll see what happens.”

Quotes courtesy of MMA Junkie

Weidman is set to go head to head with Omari Akhmedov as he goes in search of a much needed return to the win column.

“I just wanted to fight,” Weidman said. “I honestly didn’t really hear of him leading up. I was like who’s that? Even my manager didn’t know. Then I looked him up and he’s been on his way up. He’s been in the UFC for a while, kind of going back and forth between welterweight and middleweight.

“He’s on a nice win streak and he’s ranked in the top 15. It’s one of the first times I’m not fighting someone in the top five but he’s a tough kid. I think it’s a really good matchup.”

“I’m taking it very serious. He’s tough but when I look at the guys I’ve fought, I don’t think he’s up there as far as the most talented. I think that’s a fair statement without knocking him.”

“I need to get a freaking ‘W,” Weidman said. “I need to get back on my winning ways. I think I have a lot of advantages in this fight but when you’re in there, you never know what’s going to happen.”