For the first time in his MMA career Chris Weidman tasted defeat at UFC 194 last month, losing his middleweight title to Luke Rockhold, and the former champion is now calling for an immediate rematch.
Weidman has already been involved in some massive fights in his career, but he sees the opportunity to avenge his only loss and regain the belt as the biggest of them all.
“That’s the fight I want,” Weidman told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’d say that’s the fight I deserve, and that would be the biggest fight of my life.
“That trumps my Anderson Silva fights. That trumps my Lyoto Machida, my Vitor (Belfort) fights. It trumps everything. That’s the biggest fight of my life. I’m going to be a completely different animal, motivated more than ever, and I’m going to go repay him for what he did to me. No personal vendetta. No emotion. Just competitively, just go out there and just completely demolish him.”
The first two rounds of their initial encounter were close and competitive, but former Strikeforce champion Rockhold seized the momentum in the third round after a costly mistake from Weidman, missing with a sloppy wheel kick attempt that allowed his opponent to take him to the mat. From that moment on Rockhold was in the ascendancy and handed Weidman a ground and pound beatdown that looked close to finishing him in the third, before finishing off the job by TKO in the fourth.
We’ve never seen Weidman handled like that in his 13 fight professional career, it really was painfully one-sided in those later rounds which could hinder his chances of gaining an immediate rematch, but at the same time the 31 year-old had an impeccable record before that, taking out a number of legends of the sport.
Helping his chances is the fact that the supposed No.1 contender fight between Yoel Romero and Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza that took place earlier that same evening turned out to be less than satisfactory. Romero emerged victorious, but only by a somewhat controversial split decision verdict and it wasn’t the kind of performance that has people clamoring for him to compete for the belt.
Also playing in his favor is the fact that Rockhold is more than willing to give him a rematch if that’s what the UFC wants.
“100 percent, I’m fine with [a Weidman Rematch],” Rockhold told FOX Sports. “I don’t need extra motivation. Someone’s coming for me from the other side of the world, other side of the country, wherever they’re at — they’re coming to take what I’ve earned, my spot, something I’ve worked for my whole life, it’s more motivation for me.
“I’ve got a lot to prove and I’m out there to reach my potential and I’m far from that. I’m out there to go put on a flawless performance. I’m not happy with my performance against Chris so if we’re going to do it again, I’m going to go out there looking to execute and be perfect next time.”
That being said, if Rockhold gets his way he’s made it clear he’d prefer to make his first title defense against No.4 ranked contender Vitor Belfort who holds a 2013 head kick KO win over the new champion.
However, Rockhold told FOX Sports that his conversations with Dana White so far lead him to believe that it’ll be either Weidman or Romero.