Ex-champ Chris Weidman targets fall UFC return after second hand surgery

Things are beginning to look up for former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) hasn’t seen action since a submission victory over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25 in July. He’s had left hand issues that taken multiple surgeries to fix, but according to the former titleholder, the worst of it is behind him.

According to Weidman, 33, who spoke about his injury during a Tuesday “EA UFC 3” Twitch stream, the most recent surgery on his thumb went well and he could be cleared for training as soon as this week.

“I broke it on Kelvin Gastelum’s head in the first round, and then I had one surgery, and they had to take the tendon from my wrist and put it in there and kind of create a new ligament,” Weidman told host Megan Olivi. “That didn’t work great. Then I had to get my hip bone put in there, and that worked awesome. I’m getting this cast off on Thursday and getting ready to kick some ass again.”

Weidman, No. 6 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, has dealt with some injury layoffs during his UFC career. However, when he returns to action, it’ll mark his longest break between fights since he turned pro in February 2009.

Prior to his third-round submission win over Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25, “All-American” had lost three consecutive bouts, albeit to top competition in Gegard Mousasi, Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold.

Even when skidding, Weidman was never hesitant to voice his title aspirations. He still has those goals, he said, and once his cast is removed, Weidman said he’ll be ready to begin training hard and hopefully get a fight booked for just after summer.

“If this heals 100 percent – which I think it will be because it feels great – I can start punching right away and get back into it right away,” Weidman said. “Hopefully, maybe, fight in September or October.”

For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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