Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman says he was not happy with his performance in his unanimous decision win over Omari Akhmedov on Saturday.
In the co-main event of UFC on ESPN+ 32, Weidman finally got back into the win column for the first time since July 2017 when he was able to grind out a hard-fought decision over Akhmedov. After a strong first round, Weidman began to fade badly in the second round and at times appeared to be on the verge of getting finished. But he was able to hold on until the third round. In the last round, Weidman landed a takedown and then dominated Akhmedov from top position on the mat to edge out a unanimous decision victory.
Speaking to UFC commentator Paul Felder following the fight, Weidman admitted that while he’s relieved to finally get back in the win column, he knows it wasn’t his best performance.
“It was huge, man. A lot of pressure on me and I’m happy to get my hand raised. I’m obviously not too happy with that performance but I needed a win. I got it done. I can’t be that mad,” Weidman said.
Felder asked Weidman if his gameplan was to use his grappling and the former UFC middleweight champion said that was exactly what he was trying to do.
“Gameplan was to get to his legs. Stop his initial movements and then get to my submissions and ground and pound. It was a good fight. Tough kid,” Weidman said.
As for what’s next for Weidman, he’s not sure yet. After recently falling out of the top-15 rankings, defeating the No. 12 ranked Akhmedov should help give Weidman a boost back into the UFC’s top-15. He doesn’t have anyone in mind yet for his next fight but put the rest of the top-15 fighters on notice that he’s back.
“I’m back, man. I’m back. I’m back at ’85. All the top-tier guys, I’m coming for you. I know this wasn’t the most outstanding win, but it’s me on the right page and that’s a problem for everyone,” Weidman said.
Who do you think Chris Weidman should fight next?