In December of 2015, Luke Rockhold handed Chris Weidman his first professional loss, and stole the middleweight belt from him in the process.
Given the competitive nature of this title fight, and Weidman’s previous dominance, the pair were then scheduled for an immediate rematch. Thanks to a Weidman injury, however, this rematch never materialized.
Chris Weidman hasn’t given up on it yet. Now that he and Rockhold are both committed to fighting at light heavyweight, he hopes he’ll finally get a shot at redemption in this new division.
“That’s definitely on the agenda,” Weidman told TMZ (transcript via MMA Junkie). “I don’t know if that would be my first fight or not, but I think your first loss definitely hurts the most. To have the opportunity to get that one back is definitely something I want to do.”
While Chris Weidman is interested in a rematch with his former rival, his ultimate goal as a 205-pound fighter is a title shot opposite dominating champion Jon Jones. Though Jones has looked more or less unbeatable thus far, Weidman believes he has the skill to defeat him.
“I’ve got to fight some other guys first, but at some point, that’s the goal. When I was at 185, the goal was to hold the belt at 185 for as long as I could, then go up to 205 and win the belt over there.
“It didn’t work according to my plan perfectly. But now I’m at 205, and I definitely think I have the tools to beat (Jones).”
This is not the first time Chris Weidman has expressed his confidence in his ability to defeat Jon Jones.
“Honestly I think I bring a lot of problems to the table with my wrestling, my jiu jitsu,” Weidman said at a media scrum ahead of UFC 238 (via MMA Fighting). “Also I’m long, and I have power in my hands — especially at 205, I think that might be a benefit for me. I think I’ll even hit harder.
“I think my wrestling and jiu jitsu, on paper, is better than his. The way he’s able to mix it up so well on the feet and then trick you with his standup and also look for takedowns, the way his uses his elbows and knees… We haven’t seen a guy do it as well as him. So I give him 100% props. But if I’m able to drag it into what I’m great at, I think I bring a serious problem. And also my pace, my pace is something that I think I really bring to the table. I don’t know if a lot of 205 pounders can hold up to that.”
What do you think Chris Weidman will accomplish in this new division?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/3/2019.