Chris Weidman is expecting both a reunion and a farewell that is centered around the middleweight championship belt being wrapped around his waist again.
It has been over five years since Chris Weidman has called himself the undisputed UFC middleweight champion. Prior to losing the title, he was the undefeated Spider killer, riding high and waving Ol’ Glory along his routing of division rivals. But after dropping the title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, things have not been the same for Weidman. He has now lost five of his last seven bouts and even took a sabbatical from the division to try his hand at light heavyweight, only to be knocked right back down with what was his second consecutive knockout loss.
The former champion believes that a new day has dawned in his career as he enters 2021. After defeating Omari Akhmedov last August, Weidman was able to reposition himself at #11 in the middleweight rankings. And when he faces #8-ranked Uriah Hall at UFC 261, Weidman expects to continue his progression back to the top.
“I gotta say, I’m a freakin’ beast right now,” Weidman told Submission Radio. “I’m a different animal right now. I feel good, minus the coronavirus. I really am fully engaged and motivated to go out there and make a statement, and I’m going to be very hard to beat. So, I’m coming at him, and I could see me finishing him in the first round again. I could also see me breaking his will and it might head to second or third round, but I’m gonna finish him.”
Chris Weidman Hopes to End Career On A High Note
Chris Weidman will be bringing an urgency with him in his fight against Hall and believes that with this victory, he will be one step closer to having the storybook ending he wants for his career.
“A big win, a huge statement on pay-per-view, dominating finish definitely puts me back up in the mix,” Weidman continued. “Whether it’s one, two, three fights until I’m fighting for the title, it definitely puts me back into the mix. To go out there and be able to finish Uriah Hall, I think puts me right back in the mix. Especially with my resume already.
“So, I’m excited, man. I really want to finish my career on a high note. I want to finish it with that belt in my hands and be able to walk away. And I know I got the potential to do it, and I just gotta stay active and keep working hard, and the sky’s the limit.”
It is up for interpretation whether Chris Weidman is mirroring UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem’s goal of retiring immediately after winning the title or if he wants to simply retire as champion ala Georges St-Pierre. Either way, for Weidman to go from being written off by many after his fall from grace to potentially reclaiming middleweight gold, that would certainly make for a storybook moment, regardless of the ending.
What do you think the chances are that Chris Weidman becomes UFC middleweight champion again?