Chris Weidman wasn’t on top form tonight at UFC On ESPN+ 32, but he did get back to winning ways with a unanimous decision victory over Omari Akhmedov.
Weidman takes the center of the Octagon to start. He goes for a single leg, but Akhmedov gets away from that.
Body kick for Weidman. Weidman tries again for a takedown, but settles for a clinch against the cage. Akhmedov able to shove him away though.
Leg kick from Weidman. Weidman in on a single-leg now, making it clear that his gameplan is primarly wrestling based here. However, Akhmedov is proving to have sturdy takedown defense so far and again fends him off.
Back to striking range and Akhmedov lands a jab. Now a good body punch for him. Kick for Weidman and now a one-two. Akhmedov with a punch and presses into range, but Weidman tries to work a guillotine choke. Akhmedov on his knees, but then gets back up.
Weidman looks for the takedown and this time he gets it. Akhmedov looking to get back up and Weidman is trying to sink in a choke. Akhmedov able to get back up, but Weidman has him up against the cage and is partially able to get him down.
Weidman working to keep him there. He clinches up his legs. Akhmedov works to butterfly hooks. Weidman passes through to half-guard though.
Patient work from Weidman on top and then starts to land a few short elbows as the round comes to a close.
Right hand for Weidman. Front kick from Weidman, but a bit sloppy with his defense there and Akhmedov lands a punch on the counter.
Now it’s Akhmedov who is in on a takedown attempt and he lands it. Weidman works gets to his knees and stands, then is able to get away to striking range.
Akhmedov with winging punches that miss. Weidman trying for a single-leg, but Only manages to move Akhmedov off-balance for a moment.
Body punches from Akhmedov. Now Weidman trying to get in on a takedown, but then has to defend a guillotine and backs off.
Akhmedov trying to land as Weidman comes in again for his latest takedown attempt against the cage. Akhmedov defending for now and manages to escape.
Winging punch from Akhmedov misses and throwing more behind it. Jabs from Weidman, but then a right hand lands for Akhmedov.
Good body punch from Akhmedov against a weary-looking Weidman. Punches starting to land for Akhmedov now and then he lands a takedown in the center of the Octagon.
Akhmedov in half-guard, but Weidman manages to get space and stand back up. Jab for Akhmedov and then a body punch.
Jab again for him.
Jab for Weidman and a harder one in response from Weidman. Kick from Weidman is caught and Akhmedov takes him down. Akhmedov doesn’t follow him down and he gets back upright.
Again Akhmedov manages to get Weidman down and doesn’t follow him. He gets back up in the final seconds of the round. Both men tired now. Weidman lands a punch, Akhmedov connects on the counter and then Weidman responds with another solid jab to end the round.
Jab for Weidman. Single-leg attempt from Weidman, but Akhmedov stuffs it. Knee lands for Akhmedov. Weidman bundles Akhmedov to the mat. Akhmedov to his knees and stands as Weidman tries to stay clinched to his back.
Weidman able to get a trip to bring Akhmedov down again. Weidman gets on Akhmedov’s back. They roll and Weidman is working for something akin to a suleov stretch here, but it’s not going to pay off.
Weidman changes things up and looking for a potential arm-triangle choke, but Akhmedov defends it. Weidman secure in full mount now though.
two minutes to go and Weidman drops down an elbow. Akhmedov gives up his back briefly and then thinks better of it. Weidman trying to set up the arm-triangle again. He’s partially got it here, but he’s not moved off to the side yet, instead preferring to keep this dominant position.
A few punches to the side from Weidman and now a few elbows. Akhmedov gives up his back and Weidman lands some light strikes to the head as the round comes to an end.
The weary former champion Weidman had to dig deep and make full use of his grappling skills in the final round there, but that was enough to help swing the fight in his favor, leading to a unanimous decision victory (29-27 x2, 29-28).