They say anyone can be beaten on any day. Well, Chris Weidman shocked the world not once, but twice by beating Anderson Silva. Well, now Chris Weidman wants to go for the hat trick, in shocking the MMA world a third time and take out Israel Adesanya.
The 36-year-old "All American" recently spoke with Chael Sonnen and said:
"Absolutely I can beat Adesanya. I think that's a tailor made match up for me. Those athletic strikers, tall lanky guys, I've proven I can beat. I think pressure, wrestling, heavy punches, and kicks you know just non stop pressure is what you need to beat them. That's the recipe that beats those guys. I've proved that with Anderson Silva twice, Urijah Hall another one. Those guys are in trouble against me."
Now that all may be true. But in 20 professional MMA fights, no one has solved the riddle that is Israel Adesanya. The one person that came closest was Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236.
As far as Chris Weidman goes, since he lost the middleweight title to Luke Rockhold, he has struggled to look anything like he once did. He's gone 2-5 in those seven walks to the octagon. This also includes a failed attempt at becoming a Light Heavyweight. And those losses were all bad finishes.
It appears even though he outworked Omari Akhmedov in a unanimous decision win, he's lost a step. His only other win in that stretch literally seemed like a family affair with him beating Gastelum in front of all of Long Island at the Nassau Coliseum, just minutes from his house. And there were moments in that fight too that made a win seem doubtful to happen.
Now Chris Weidman is training down South more and more, away from Long Island and the complacency that set in with him. But Weidman also feels that the win over the 13th ranked Omari, should get him a crack at the title he defended three times.
Chris Weidman went on and said some very interesting things about Israel Adesanya to Sonnen:
"He hasn't really fought any other great accoladed wrestler, other than Yoel Romero who doesn't use his wrestling. So I don't even count that. I'm the type of guy that will bring that pressure. I will take him down and I'll ragdoll him on the floor".
Israel Adesanya is on a very different trajectory than Weidman. There are talks of super fights with Jon Jones and also the new Light Heavyweight Champion, Jan Blachowicz.
If Chris Weidman is serious about one more run and get a shot at Israel Adesanya, he's going to have to earn it and in a big way. He'll need to get through say Darren Till, possibly Romero, and at least two of the top 5 Middleweights.
But again Chris Weidman is right on Israel Adesanya not getting tested on the ground. In nine UFC fights, he is yet to feel the pressure of being on his back in a bad position. However, with Israel Adesanya's in-ring IQ being two steps above others and his remarkable ability to read an opponent, we may never see him in such a situation.
The storyline, however, would most likely be better than the actual fight then. After all, Anderson Silva is arguably the best Middleweight in UFC history and Israel Adesanya has just one past Chris Weidman for No.2 on that all-time list.Published 01 Oct 2020, 09:09 IST