UFC middleweight contender Chris Weidman explained why the UFC passed on booking him in the fight against top prospect Khamzat Chimaev.
Weidman broke his long losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Omari Akhmedov in his last outing. Since then, Weidman has been calling for some of the top dogs in the middleweight division such as Derek Brunson and Paulo Costa. Another fighter who Weidman mentioned as a potential opponent in Chimaev. Most fighters didn’t seem to be interested in being matched up with the Swede, but Weidman was out there calling for it.
However, the UFC decided to go in another direction and the matchmakers booked Chimaev against Leon Edwards, the No. 3 welterweight contender, instead. The two will now lock horns in the five-round main event of a UFC Fight Night card on December 19. Weidman, meanwhile, continues to be in search of his next opponent in the Octagon.
Speaking to Submission Radio, Weidman explained why the UFC decided to pass on booking him against Chimaev and go with Edwards instead.
“They offered me Chimaev. I said yes. Then I started getting really excited about it, and then I said, ‘Well, so I’ve got a little bit of a rib injury right now – a cartilage rib injury.’ And if you’re anybody who’s had that, it’s just a pain in the ass. You’ve got to be really careful with not re-injuring it or bothering it. So I’ve kind of got to work around that right now. So I told them, ‘I’m down to fight whoever at mid-January, but I really want that Chimaev fight,’ just because of everyone acting as if everyone is scared of him and all that. And to me, I always want to fight the best guys. And so if everybody thinks he’s that good, let’s see it,” Weidman said (via MMAjunkie.com).
“I have a hard time imagining anybody throwing me around. In any of my losses, it wasn’t like a dominant win. It was holy crap, out of nowhere, and fights that I was winning, other than my (Dominick) Reyes fight. And so I just have a hard time seeing anybody manhandling me and throwing me around. I just can’t imagine that happening. I would love to see that if that’s what everybody thinks that he could do. So that kind of excited me. But next thing I know, he’s fighting the No. 3 guy at welterweight.”
Do you think Chris Weidman has what it takes to beat Khamzat Chimaev?