Chris Weidman Weighs in on Herb Dean Controversy at UFC 300, Would ‘Love’ His Next Fight to Be Against Sean Strickland

'All-American' believes Hill lost focus in his light heavyweight headliner with Alex Pereira and discusses who he would like to fight next

Chris Weidman Talks Jamahal Hill
Chris Weidman Talks Jamahal Hill - Image credit @stricklandmma Instagram @UFC Twitter/X @Michaelbispingpodcast Youtube

Chris Weidman thinks it’s “far-fetched” to suggest that referee Herb Dean’s brief interaction in the UFC 300 main event had any bearing on the result. 

Headlining the biggest event in promotional history, reigning light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira put his title on the line against Jamahal Hill. Just past the three-minute mark of the opening round, ‘Poatan’ scorched ‘Sweet Dreams’ with a nasty left uppercut that sent Hill crashing to the canvas. Moments later, the fight was over and Pereira’s hand was raised. 

However, pundits like UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier and 2024 inductee Chael Sonnen suggested that Dean’s abbreviated pause of the action following an accidental low blow from Hill may have taken the former champ out of his element, resulted in the fight-ending sequence which came only seconds later. 

The argument claims that when Pereira waved off Dean, giving up his right to five minutes of recovery time, Hill was not allowed an opportunity to reset.

Addressing the theory during an appearance on the Believe You Me podcast with Michael Bisping, former middleweight king Chris Weidman suggested that the argument holds very little water.

“I think it’s a far-fetched thing to go for,” Weidman said. “You’re in a fight, the ref steps in, and then you’re back to fighting and it wasn’t like one second later he got knocked out. They started exchanging and [Hill] got cracked so it’s a far-fetched t thing to put it all on that. I think Pereira was very focused and he saw an opening and he didn’t want that momentum to go away and he didn’t want a break in the action. 

“He may have been more ready than Jamahal Hill at that point because he had a plan. He looked like he was ready to connect. There was a little bit of a lapse and I thought there was time for Hill to realize they’re still fighting and he got caught.”

Though the ‘All-American’ was quick to dismiss the notion that Herb Dean had done anything wrong, Weidman knows all too well that the slightest thing can make a fighter lose focus inside the Octagon. And if that happens, disaster can strike. 

“My Achilles heel is just being able to focus,” Weidman said. “When it comes to a 25-minute fight for me, it’s not the cardio aspect that scares me. It’s staying focused for that long. Second rounds have always been the toughest in a three-round fight. Somewhere in the middle, my brain starts going in different directions. I’m not always as focused. I don’t see the ending yet. The beginning is gone and I’m kind of stuck in the middle. 

“It’s always a weird round for me and so attention span is the biggest thing. I guess we’re all smart in some ways, but I feel like all of us have ADD. Every fighter I know, so that’s one of the biggest things, being able to stay focused for the duration of a fight because, in one split second that you don’t have that focus, you’re out. 

“I’m sure if he’s focused 100% of the time, Jamahal Hill is not getting knocked out with that shot. He’s a little bit more keen. He’s circling. He realizes it’s coming, but that’s how knockouts happen. There’s one guy who’s a little bit more focused than the other and boom. It happens.”

Chris Weidman Likes the Idea of a Fight with Sean Strickland

Though Chris Weidman’s last win inside the Octagon came with a heaping dose of controversy, it was a win nonetheless. Now, the middleweight mainstay is eyeing a much bigger name for his next fight. 

“I think I want a big name. I went with Bruno Silva, not a big name, so I think it’s time to step up and have a fun fight that people want to see and people know me and him,” Weidman said. “With Bruno Silva, a lot of people didn’t know his name and I had no right to pick my opponent. Not that I’d really be able to pick my opponent, but if it was up to me, I’d have a bigger name. A fight that means a little bit more with a win.”

During their conversation, Bisping suggested a potential fight with Sean Strickland could be an intriguing matchup for Weidman and one that gets the ‘All-American’ back into the 185-pound title picture. 

“I would love that fight,” Weidman said of a potential scrap with Strickland. “I got a lot of respect for Strickland. I think it would be a fun buildup. I think he would bring me out of being such a nice guy. We could trash talk a little bit. Maybe have some fun. I like his style. I like that he pushes the pace and gets guys tired so I’d like to test myself against a guy like that.”

Currently, Sean Strickland is gearing up for a scrap with Paulo Costa at UFC 302 on June 1. 

Watch the full episode below:

Published on April 19, 2024 at 11:28 am
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