Chris Weidman acknowledges he is under pressure to get a win now more than ever.
The former middleweight champion meets Omari Akhmedov in their 185-pound co-main event at UFC Vegas 6 this weekend.
With just one win in his last six outings with his last victory coming in 2017, Weidman’s stock has certainly gone down in recent years with many fans urging him to retire. Another setback this weekend could only intensify it.
While the fans are tough on him, Weidman is also using them as motivation.
“It’s a very tough sport. It’s a fickle sport,” Weidman told MMA Fighting. “The fans are definitely tough. But it’s also kind of motivating. You want to remind them. I’m 1-5 in my last six fights. But you look at who I fought and then one person I beat [Kelvin Gastelum] and he’s done pretty good himself. In all those fights, other than my [Dominick] Reyes fight, I was winning the fight. It’s just kind of the way it works sometimes.
“You fight all these really good guys, you’re not always going to get your hand raised. There’s definitely randomness who wins that night. Random things that happen. It doesn’t necessarily mean that person is the better person in the fight.”
Weidman Desperate To Get Win
Weidman was previously slated to face Jack Hermansson, but a number of factors such as travel restrictions meant it didn’t come to fruition.
Instead, he will now face a lower-profile opponent in Akhmedov. That’s something the American previously called for as well after consistently facing the very best in the world for a number of years.
However, Akhmedov is also 5-0-1 in his last six fights and is an opponent Weidman is taking seriously.
“I need to get a freaking ‘W,” Weidman said. “I need to get back on my winning ways. I think I have a lot of advantages in this fight but when you’re in there, you never know what’s going to happen.
“I’m taking it very serious. He’s tough but when I look at the guys I’ve fought, I don’t think he’s up there as far as the most talented. I think that’s a fair statement without knocking him.”
Ultimately, Weidman hopes to show that he’s still one of the best in the world and aims to do that with a decisive performance against his Russian foe.
“My goal is to go in there and show there’s different levels to this game,” Weidman added. “I’ve been training consistently longer than I probably have in a very long time. I think that’s going to pay off in this fight.
“I haven’t been out of the gym. I’ve been healthy for a long time now. I’m really hoping that pays off. A lot of my career I’m out of the gym, I’m injured and I’m blown up. This time, I really haven’t been out of the gym between fights. I’m excited to see that work out for me. I’ve just got to get my hand raised. I really think I’m definitely still one of the best in the world but I’ve got to go out there and prove it and get a ‘W’ and start getting on a streak again. Hopefully, Aug. 8 will be the start of it.”
A lot is certainly riding on this fight for Weidman.