Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman last fought back in July, where he scores a submission victory over Kelvin Gastelum. Before that win, ‘All American’ was coming off three straight knockout losses. However, Weidman believes a victory over Gastelum makes him eligible to be next in line for Robert Whittaker, as he has all the tools to win the belt back.
“Obviously for me, that would be best-case scenario is to fight for the title, to fight Whittaker,” Weidman said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “I feel like that’s a guy I match up really well against. It’s a guy, I’d go out there and I believe I could finish.”
“I’m the most decorated guy in the division, I’ve had the most title defenses [since Anderson Silva]. I had a rough patch. I went undefeated my whole career, I lost one, I happened to lose three in a row. My mind, I felt like it wasn’t in the right spot. I came back and I put myself back where I needed to, got my mind back, and beat one of the top contenders Kelvin Gastelum. I felt like I dominated the fight and I went out there and finished him. So I feel like you’re only as good as your last fight and I finished the other guy that we’re talking about in my last fight. So I feel like I definitely deserve my shot at the title and that would be a good fight.”
‘All American’ continued, proclaiming himself the “most decorated guy in the division.” Weidman won the title from Anderson Silva and successfully defended it vs. Silva, Vitor Belfort and Lyoto Machida.
Weidman knows Whittaker’s overall style as being more Karate-oriented, for him Stephen Thompson his side is more than enough, as ‘Wonderboy’ professionally and personally close to Chris.
“(Whittaker’s) very tough, he’s elusive, got kind of like a karate-style background. But I have great training partners,” Weidman said. “I have ‘Wonderboy,’ who actually knocked him out. He’s a family member of mine and just based on that it gives me extra motivation not to lose to him when I’ve got my brother-in-law who knocked him out.”
“How am I going to go to family functions if I go out there and lose to him? It’s definitely something that would play as motivation and give me confidence going into the fight.
Weidman hasn’t been able to compete since defeating Kelvin due to a nagging thumb injury but does expect to return by the end of this year.
“My hand is great right now. … This is fused like a rock now and I feel like I can punch through a wall with this thing,” Weidman said. “It’s really, really strong. They’ve got a titanium plate in there or something stapled down with some screws and it feels amazing. So I’m ready to go, hopefully around that September, October, November time period.”
Does a showdown between Whittaker and Weidman interests you? Do you think ‘All American’ can finish Whittaker once they meet inside the Octagon?