Chris Weidman reveals why he's moving back down to the Middleweight division
- Chris Weidman is expected to face Jack Hermansson on May 2nd.
- Will he be able to win his first fight in nearly three years?
Chris Weidman has had an unsuccessful past four years in the UFC. He's been knocked out five times in his last six fights and his previous outing this past October was his Light Heavyweight debut against Dominick Reyes. As with Jacare Souza and Luke Rockhold, it was an unsuccessful attempt, losing to Reyes in less than two minutes of the first round.
As a result, he's moving back down to Middleweight - a division he once ruled. He's set to face Jack Hermansson on May 2nd at UFC at UFC Fight Night 174. That will take place only if the Coronavirus outbreak slows down and the lockdown ends.
Weidman appeared on Instagram Live with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and explained his decision to move back down to Middleweight:
“I do think I have the potential to beat any of them [light heavyweights] but I lost my first fight and I just figured you know what, let me just go where I’m comfortable to try and make sure I get this W and give myself the most advantages as possible.”
While admitting that he doesn't have a size and strength advantage at Light Heavyweight, he didn't close the door on the possibility of moving up again:
“Size and strength is important, I wouldn’t have as much of an advantage up at 205 with that so, I’m not closing the door on 205 completely, but at this point I’m going to go down to middleweight. My weight is good so it shouldn’t be that bad.”
Very few fighters who moved from Middleweight to Light Heavyweight were successful. 185-pounds seems to be the best place for Weidman, but we have to question the decision to take on a top contender in Jack Hermansson. Given Weidman's record in his last six fights, one would imagine that the UFC would give him an opponent outside the Top 10 to ease him back in.
He hasn't lost to low-level fighters. The opponents who have defeated him were all at the highest level at the time - Luke Rockhold, Yoel Romero, Gegard Mousasi, Jacare Souza, and most recently, Dominick Reyes.
Hopefully, Weidman can get his confidence back by getting a win over Hermansson. It won't be easy, but he's certainly capable of it. As for whether he'll ever be ready to compete at the highest level again, we can't be sure.Published 19 Mar 2020, 12:50 IST