Chris Weidman may finally have his opportunity to avenge his loss to Luke Rockhold back at UFC 194 in 2015.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports that Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold could square off at UFC 230 in Chris Weidman’s home state of New York in Madison Square Garden. This fight will be a major opportunity for both men to put a stamp on what has been a rivalry between the two middleweights for years. It was Luke Rockhold who dethroned Chris Weidman from the top of the middleweight division, initiating what would then become a three-fight skid for Weidman, with subsequent losses to Yoel Romero and Gegard Mousasi. Weidman would return to the win column with a victory over the next challenger for the middleweight championship, Kelvin Gastelum, at UFC on Fox 25 with a third-round submission victory.
Luke Rockhold’s last bout saw him lose via knockout to Yoel Romero at UFC 221. A win over Romero would have made Rockhold the interim middleweight champion and would have earned him a title shot at reigning champion Robert Whittaker. With Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum locked in for a title fight down the line and Yoel Romero considering moving up to light heavyweight following his title fight, a legitimate case can be made that the winner of this fight between Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold could very well find themselves right back at the front of the middleweight contender’s line.
A loss for Chris Weidman would make him 1-4 in his last five fights and would then give him two losses to the same opponent, which could result in long-term consequences for Chris Weidman that he would much rather avoid. The two were originally scheduled to main event UFC 199 at The Forum in Inglewood, California before Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from the fight with just two weeks notice. Michael Bisping would then defeat Luke Rockhold for the middleweight crown, at which point all hell would broke loose in the division.
What do you think about this fight? Is it the right fight for both fighters right now?