Chris Weidman Must Win To Get Out Of MMA’s Sunken Place

    Never has Chris Weidman had this kind of pressure. The first man to beat Anderson Silva in the UFC, not once but twice, was on a hot streak that no one saw ever coming to an end. That was until Luke Rockhold started a cycle that would shatter his world.

    Chris Weidman: Back in the Game

    From high school into his professional MMA career, UFC middleweight fighter Chris Weidman dealt with lateral menisci issues. Chris came to HSS, where he met HSS sports medicine surgeon, Dr. Answorth Allen. After undergoing successful surgery and enduring a rigorous rehabilitation process, Chris is prepared physically and mentally for his upcoming bout this weekend in Uniondale, NY.

    Weidman went 9-0 in the UFC, winning the middleweight title from Silva in the process via knockout. He won numerous bonus checks from Knockout of the Night and Fight of the Night honors and was the darling undefeated champion of the UFC. But his first loss to Rockhold sent his career in a tailspin that he cannot seem to recover from.

    After Rockhold’s fourth round TKO took away his middleweight strap, Weidman caught the fade via a vicious flying knee from Yoel Romero a year later. His last fight was defined by the controversial initial illegal knee shots he took from Gerard Mousasi that were ruled legal after a replay by the referee. The loss devastated Weidman, who promised to appeal the decision, and put him in the MMA fighting sunken place.

    UFC Road to the Octagon: Weidman vs Gastelum

    The spectacular main event of Fight Night Long Island showcases former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman against 25-year-old rising star Kelvin Gastelum. For Weidman, headlining the UFC’s first event in his hometown is a lifelong dream, as his close-knit family supports his latest run at the 185-pound belt.

    There is one rule in the UFC that is very rarely broken, three lost fights and you’re out. Weidman is the exception, probably because the world collectively felt bad for his last loss coming from a technicality.  

    However, if he loses to his opponent Kevin Gastelum this Saturday, it is almost a certainty that he will be dropped from the roster.

    After delivering a first round TKO over former champion Vitor Belfort in his last Octagon appearance, Gastelum has been seen as a fierce competitor. Even though the win was overturned due to a failed drug test that showed high levels of THC, indicative of marijuana usage, Gastelum can still make a major impact on the division.

    Prior to the Belfort fight, he defeated Johny Hendricks and knocked Tim Kennedy out so hard that it proved to be his retirement fight. Gastelum is on the way up, and a win over a former champion would only help his stock rise. A loss wouldn’t really drop his stature down, but a win would move him closer to title contention and make a statement within the division.

    Chris Weidman vs Kelvin Gastelum | UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREVIEW

    SUBSCRIBE for more from UFC ON FOX: https://www.youtube.com/ufconfox?sub_confirmation=1 Kenny Florian, Michael Bisping, Michelle Waterson and Karyn Bryant preview UFC Fight Night’s main event between Chris Weidman and Kelvin Gastelum. Watch the latest content UFC on FOX content: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoGCJSexpGtxqzzEOyuHNvOrD_EqYSA6- Watch the latest from UFC Tonight: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoGCJSexpGtzVBqzn-0GTQs4IkmtCCRk9 TUF Talk: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoGCJSexpGtyiz8qVCn7c6HBzQilhtpRL FOX Sports YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/foxsports The Ultimate Fighter’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheUltimateFighterFX About UFC ON FOX: The official FOX Sports home of UFC coverage.

    One thing Weidman has going for him in his fifth career UFC main event is that hes 4-0 in previous fights where he headlines. He has out-struck nine of the 12 opponents hes faced in UFC competition and his only loss came via stoppage. In short, Gastelum will have to out strike and finish Weidman to beat him.

    However, Gastelum has earned nine of his 13 career victories by stoppage. Gastelum has landed five knockdowns in his past four fights and has suffered both of his career losses by split decision. This says that Gastelum is about that fight life and will not go soft, especially when Weidman has the most to lose. 

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.