Chris Weidman is trying to find himself back to the UFC middleweight title picture, but he’s being held up by the recently made Michael Bisping vs. Georges St-Pierre fight.
‘The All American’ once ruled as one of the most dominant champions in mixed martial arts (MMA) after winning the 185-pound throne from Anderson Silva in 2013, going on to defend the strap successfully three times. After a wheel kick gone bad during his UFC 194 match-up against Luke Rockhold, however, Weidman was defeated for the first time in his MMA career and lost his title.
After almost a year off from in-Octagon competition Weidman made his return in a thriller at UFC 205 from Madison Square Garden against Yoel Romero. While seeming to have controlled the bout’s first two rounds, Weidman was knocked out by a flying knee from the Cuban 24 seconds into the third round.
The former 185-pound champ now looks to regroup with a potential win over No. 5-ranked Gegard Mousasi in the co-main event of UFC 210 live on pay-per-view (PPV) next month (Sat. April 8, 2017). Weidman recently spoke to Submission Radio to discuss his road back to the middleweight title, where he expressed frustration with the recent pairing of champion Michael Bisping and Georges St-Pierre; which still does not have an official date or venue booked for their title clash (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“It’s definitely holding up the division which sucks for everybody in the middleweight division. I understand GSP, he gets the opportunity to fight for the middleweight title against a guy who’s probably less dangerous for him than even at welterweight, fighting a guy like Tyron Woodley. It’s a great opportunity for GSP so I understand where he’s going.
“Bisping, it’s a great opportunity for him. He gets to make a lot of money fighting GSP and it’s a guy who’s coming up from welterweight who hasn’t fought in three years and, again, he’s not fighting a top contender in the middleweight division. So for those two guys it’s working out great, but for the rest of the division, it kind of sucks.”
Weidman says he feels for Romero in his current situation, who he believes deserves the next crack at the gold after knocking him out:
“Yeah, I definitely feel for him. He deserves it. He beat me fair and square with a beautiful knockout. So I expected him to get it but Bisping I don’t think wants that fight and then all of a sudden it’s just bad timing with GSP coming back and Bisping opening his mouth trying- he wants that [St-Pierre] fight. Just bad timing for [Romero].”
As for his bout against Mousasi in April, Weidman feels his match-up with the Dutchman is a bit of a step down in competition from the guys he’s been sharing the Octagon with as of late:
“It’s what I want. I want the best guys. I want the guys that – when have I ever fought a guy who wasn’t a top guy? And Mousasi I think would be almost a step down from the level of guys I’ve been fighting. He’s on a nice win streak, he’s developed a name for himself, he’s experienced, he’s been around, but I feel like every time he’s stepped up and fought a top-notch guy, he’s came up a little bit short. It’s a great fight. People are behind him, people think he’s good, so if I go out there and dominate him I think it brings me closer to getting back to that title contention.
“What I want more than anything is the title. That’s where the money’s at. That’s the bread and butter. So getting the title is the number one thing I have my eyes set on.”