Welcome to the UFC: Joshua Weems

Christian Rodriguez and Josh Weems, UFC Vegas 63
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - OCTOBER 28: (L-R) Opponents Christian Rodriguez and Joshua Weems face off during the UFC weigh-in at UFC APEX on October 28, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Joshua Weems fought on Dana White’s Contender Series last year and fell short to Fernie Garcia. Since that, he got back on the board with two straight wins. Last June, Weems won the Fury FC bantamweight title besting another Contender Series veteran, Mo Miller. Now, he’s taking a fight at UFC Vegas 63 on short notice against Christian Rodriguez. Rodriguez was originally supposed to fight Garrett Armfield but Armfield suffered a staph infection.

Joshua “Wide Open” Weems
Standing at 5’8″
Fighting at 135 lbs (bantamweight)
Fighting out of Jackson, Mississippi, US
Training out of Black Sails MMA
A pro record of 10-2
1 KO/TKOs, 8 Submissions

How will Weems fare in the UFC:

Weems has a lot of holes but at the same time has a lot of things working for him. On the feet, Weems throws with a lot of output. Weems is a good grappler and wrestler while being a big submission threat on top or off his back. Also, Weems has a solid gas tank to go three rounds. He’s shown the ability to fight from behind and in bad positions to eventually find a finish.

On the feet as said Weems has good output but aside from that his defense lacks. I do like that he starts fast, has frequent volume, and throws heavy leg kicks. Weems holds his hands down low and when he’s getting hit his body language is off. He curls up and tends to melt under pressure. Along with the striking defense not being that good, his takedown defense is lackluster as well. Saying that Weems does well off his back and has locked in a bunch of submissions out of his guard.

Weems has been dropped and finished and lost time off his back fighting. The thing is, you can never count Weems out of a fight. His submission grappling is extremely dangerous. He doesn’t have that one-punch knockout power but could overwhelm guys with pressure and volume. I like Weems and he’s been on a good run but his lack of defense is going to hinder him. I see him struggling to get wins in the UFC.

How does he match up against Rodriguez:

Like Weems, Rodriguez is all volume on the feet. The difference is that while they are both volume fighters, Rodriguez throws even more. Rodriguez uses far more angles and his bodywork could play a big factor. I’m sure Rodriguez is the better wrestler compared to Weems. It just depends on if he can stay away from the submission attempts from Rodriguez. I believe both these guys are going to bring a high-paced fight but I believe Rodriguez is better everywhere. Apart from the submissions, Rodriguez has this fight covered.