It sounds like Chris Weidman plans on sticking around middleweight for a while. Weidman (14-5) made a brief foray up to light heavyweight in his last fight, against Dominick Reyes. It did not go well. He returns this weekend for the first time since that October 2019 bout, once again at 185lbs, where he once reigned as champion.
“If I win, I’m 100% staying at middleweight. I didn’t cut all this weight off for a one-off with Omari, so if I win this I’m looking to stay and fight some of the top tier guys at middleweight,” Weidman stated to Cageside Press during the UFC Vegas 6 media day. After all, Weidman is the former middleweight champion that dethroned one of the greatest fighters of all time in Anderson Silva, not once, but twice.
The former champ cracked a smile at the mention of his age, 36, and how it related to his return to 185lbs.
“The weight cut has actually been very tough getting to the point of fight week, trying to get my weight to where I’d like it to be,” Weidman said referring to this weight cut which was his first to 185lbs since 2018.
“I had to be super disciplined with food like never before,” the former UFC middleweight champion said. “I used to be able to have cheat meals kind of like over the weekends, and stuff like that and then go back to eating healthy and I’d make weight at 185.” Now, of course, it’s a whole different story for Weidman.
This time around Weidman said, “There was no cheat meals, it was very very disciplined eating and training habits.”
And thanks to the ongoing pandemic “The All-American” was forced to leave his family and residence behind in New York in order to train, “I ended up going out to South Carolina training at Upstate Karate with Wonderboy and his team because they haven’t been closed down.”
Weidman seemed happy and confident in his camp explaining that “I was able to get a legitimate camp in it was actually good being away from the family and just kind of focused on training, not as many distractions, it was a good, nice, focused camp.”
Weidman, who has lost 5 of his last 6 fights, acknowledged that his back was metaphorically against the cage for this fight. “Yeah— you know, I do feel like that, but I feel like that all the time,” the middleweight said. But as Weidman also pointed out, all of the opponents he’s taken on have been in the top tier of talent in the UFC. “They were all top 5 guys in the world and there is no shame in that, and they were all guys that I was doing well against up until the time of loss and— other than the Reyes fight”
Weidman also shared a bit of advice for young fighters that he himself has lived relating to facing adversity inside the octagon, “At the end of the day it’s not always the best fighter that wins, it was the fighter that was better that night,” he said. “You got to be able to refresh, restart your mindset and keep your confidence. And just keep training hard.”
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman takes on Omari Akhmedov this Saturday in the Co-Main of the UFC Vegas 6 event airing live on ESPN+ (TSN in Canada)