Discussions of Chris Weidman moving to the light heavyweight division are nothing new. However, now one of the former UFC middleweight champion’s primary coaches has expressed support in the move.
Weidman (14-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) suffered his fourth loss in his past five fights this month when he succumbed a third-round TKO against Ronaldo Souza (26-5 MMA, 9-4 UFC) at UFC 230 in a bout he was arguably winning until he was stopped. That’s actually been a similar narrative in all of Weidman’s career losses, and part of the reason he’s stayed put at 185 pounds.
The loss to “Jacare” put Weidman in an awkward spot, though, and in order to switch out of it his coach, Ray Longo, is open to the idea of finally making the jump up to the 205-pound division.
“I really did think the weight cut went really well, but who knows?” Longo said on the most recent edition of “The Anik & Florian podcast.” “The brain is the last place to get the fluid when you rehydrate, so again, maybe 205’s a better fit because I don’t see this ever happening in the gym. Ever. So maybe 205 might be a place where he comes in stronger, more coherent. All (of) those things.”
If Weidman, 34, had won at UFC 230, which took place at Madison Square Garden in his native New York, he would be the frontrunner for the next title shot against the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Kelvin Gastelum. Instead, though, he’s at somewhat of a career crossroads.
Weidman’s goal for the past several years was been to get back the title he once held in the middleweight division. The loss to Souza is a blow to that ambition, and Longo said he’s aware of as much and believes it will play a role in Weidman’s next move.
“This is pretty big setback,” Longo said. “With a win over ‘Jacare,’ he was looking good. He already had beat Gastelum and I think that’s always going to be a great matchup for Chris. Whittaker would have been the tougher fight but I actually think Gastelum is going to beat Whittaker, so I think he was looking good.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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