Chris Weidman does not approve of what he believes to be Israel Adesanya's deceitful behavior. The All-American is set to make a comeback against old rival Uriah Hall at UFC 261 on April 24 in a bid to become a contender in the middleweight division that he once ruled. It is normal for fighters to have a less than cordial relationship with those above them in the rankings. However, Weidman absolutely does not think that the man sitting at the top of his division is someone he would like to hang out with.
In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Chris Weidman recalled an old interaction with Israel Adesanya when the latter was a relative newcomer to the UFC. Wiedman told ESPN that he and Adesanya had a normal conversation during one of the UFC events. However, Adesanya made a video of him and Chris Weidman at a restaurant after the event and spoke negatively about the former champ in the video. The duplicitous behavior irked Weidman and left a very bad impression of Adesanya in his mind. Weidman also suspected that Stylebender was probably drunk at the time:
"I think we were at the event. He was doing a video of me and went 'yo, we might have to do a video. We'll talk. One day I am going to beat this guy haha'. He's laughing. I'm like, 'Who are you?' This was when maybe he had won just one fight in the UFC. It was alright, but he was definitely drinking a little bit.
I guess later on that night... He and I were at Dunkin' Donuts. So I guess he filmed me. He was really cool with me in there. But then he's filming me saying something. I don't even know what you're saying. I don't remember but he's not really like my guy that I want to be hanging out with for sure," Chris Weidman said.
The incident became the focal point of a social media altercation between Chris Weidman and Israel Adesanya in October 2020. Weidman has since accused Adesanya of being duplicitous. Although there is genuine dislike between both fighters, the possibility of the beef culminating in a cage fight anytime soon is slim. Adesanya and Weidman are far apart in terms of rankings. As of now, there are no developments that suggest the gap will narrow down soon.
Chris Weidman believes Robert Whittaker can defeat Israel Adesanya in the rematch
Israel Adesanya defeated former champ Robert Whittaker quite handily in their first fight at UFC 243 in 2019. However, Whittaker has since impressively defeated three top contenders to earn a potential rematch with the champ. Whittaker's seamless transition between grappling and striking, as well as the formidable defensive ability in his last fight against Kelvin Gastelum, has convinced many that the rematch with Adesanya could unfold differently than their first meeting.
While talking about the prospects of Robert Whittaker's potential rematch with Adesanya, Chris Weidman told ESPN that he believes the evolution in Whittaker's game is enough for him to defeat Adesanya in the rematch:
"He went into that first fight really wild... he wasn't comfortable. You watch him in this fight (against Kelvin Gastelum), he was just a way more comfortable human being... He looked amazing.... even with his takedowns. He blew me away. I thought he did excellent and I think he can beat Adesanya," Chris Weidman said.