Chris Weidman is looking to make a splash in his light heavyweight debut. And he’s not taking any guff from his potential opponent.
The former UFC middleweight champion will move up to 205 pounds for his next fight in an attempt to get his floundering career jump-started again. If a recent report proves true, he may have quite a golden opportunity in his first bout at light heavyweight.
According to Ariel Helwani on Twitter, the UFC is discussing Weidman vs. undefeated No. 4 contender Dominick Reyes:
“There’s talks about booking Chris Weidman vs. Dominick Reyes on Oct. 19 in Boston, sources say. Not finalized yet, though. The fight would mark Weidman’s light heavyweight debut. There are still a couple hurdles left before booking it.”
Helwani then went on to state that Reyes has a legitimate claim for the next light heavyweight title shot against Jon Jones. The legendary-but-troubled champion wants to fight in December, although some recent legal issues may get in the way. There’s also the issue of Corey Anderson‘s ongoing beef with ‘Bones’:
“Reyes has a case for the Jones fight next, and Jones wants to return on Dec. 14. There are new pending legal issues to deal with, of course, but that’s what he wants. Corey Anderson is currently in the running for that one but this is all very much in the prelim phase.”
Reyes caught wind of the news. Not surprisingly, he agreed he should be next in line for a shot at Jones. But he’s not exactly averse to facing Weidman first if he has to. He backed up that notion with a forceful prediction for the potential fight:
“I agree and I want Jones, but if they want me to take Weidmans head to prove I am the one, I’d be more than happy!”
Weidman saw Reyes’ words and replied himself. The former middleweight boss noted that Reyes’ last bout, a controversial win over Volkan Oezdemir, wasn’t exactly deserving of a title shot. He also promised to humble the rising contender for his threats:
“Did you forget you had a controversial split decision win your last fight? You think u would deserve a title shot? And about taking my head I look forward to making you humble.”
Reyes is sitting near the top of the rankings thanks to an undefeated 11-0 record in MMA. He finished his first three UFC opponents before getting a noted step up against Ovince Saint Preux. ‘The Devastator’ won that fight by unanimous decision and moved on to a match-up with former title challenger Oezdemir. Many feel he lost the fight, but he ultimately emerged with a split decision win.
That’s left some to question his true title worthiness at this point in time. However, it’s also questionable if Weidman deserves such a highly-ranked opponent for his light heavyweight debut. After all, Weidman has been knocked out in four of his last five fights at middleweight. It’s worth noting he did face the best of the best in that span, but he still lost to most of them.
We’ve seen fighters ditch draining weight cuts and find tons of success in recent years. Names like Dustin Poirier, Rafael dos Anjos, and Michael Chiesa come to mind. Weidman has always been a big middleweight as well. A match-up with Reyes is certainly an intriguing one, and a win would instantly insert him at the top of the 205-pound division. This online heat could help it become a reality too.
Is Reyes vs. Weidman the fight to make for the former champion’s 205-pound debut?