Chris Weidman’s Coach Ray Longo ‘Happy With What I Saw’ Despite Eye Poke Controversy

Ray Longo was impressed by 'The All-American' in Atlantic City.

Longo Weidman
(via @ufc - Instagram)

A win is a win for team Weidman.

UFC Veteran Chris Weidman got his hand raised in Atlantic City over the weekend, but it didn’t come without controversy. What was originally a TKO stoppage over Bruno Silva turned into a unanimous decision verdict for the former middleweight champ. Why? Because of an inadvertent eye poke landed on Silva in the final round.

The Brazilian then went to the ground in pain where Weidman finished the fight. 

Weidman’s Coach Weighs In

There’s been a ton of backlash from the result, especially from the affected Silva, who plans on appealing the loss to the New Jersey athletic commission. As for team Weidman and how they feel about the result, longtime coach Ray Longo would chime in on the controversial victory that came after a number of previous eye pokes.

“You have to address it because you don’t wanna see it end in the DQ (disqualification). But, he got his eye poked, too,” Longo said of Weidman on ‘Unlocking The Cage‘. “I don’t wanna get crazy with this. There’s a picture where he’s getting thumbed right in the eye. He chose not to even complain about it, which I’m not saying is right or wrong, but yeah, you have to be concerned. ‘Cause the last thing you wanted to do is see that become a problem.”

Longo: ‘Either Way, I Think He Won The Fight’

Apart from the elephant in the room (eye pokes), Longo says he was liking what he was seeing from Weidman in the total duration of the bout. Weidman outlanded Silva in the striking department and also scored a takedown, nabbing more three minutes of control time.

“But you gotta remember, too, the first round was clean. He won that convincingly. The second round, I think there was a minor eye poke where they stopped [the fight], but he won that round, too. So, he was up in the fight,” Longo added. “Either way, I think he won that fight even if they went to the scorecards, which is exactly what they did at the end.

“But no, you have to be concerned with that… it’s like a guy when he knee’s a guy and he’s not grounded, you gotta be careful. You don’t want the fight to stop for that. The eye pokes are a little different I think for some reason. But yeah, I was definitely concerned.”

Longo continued.

“But either way, as a coach… even if it was a DQ, I’m happy [with] what I saw for a guy that went through a horrific injury like he did to come back like that at 39 years old, gonna be 40 in a couple of months, I thought it was fantastic. It’s a win either way for me, no matter what happened. He’s not intentionally poking you in the eye, you know what I mean? So, it was unfortunate and I hate to see it play out like that.”

This is arguably the best we’ve seen Chris Weidman in years. In 2015, ‘The All-American’ went in a downward spiral after losing the middleweight title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194. Prior to his latest win, Weidman was 2-5 in his last seven and his two most recent defeats were directly tied to the former champ breaking his leg against Uriah Hall in 2022.


Ray Longo wouldn’t mind seeing his fighter run it back with Bruno Silva to remove any doubt on who would come out on top.

“The right thing would be just do a rematch,” Longo insisted. “I didn’t think he could lose that fight in the third round. I was more concentrating on that just to stay focused and not, let’s not make any mental mistakes. It is what it is.”

Published on April 1, 2024 at 9:53 pm
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