Chris Weidman: I’m A Bad Matchup For Israel Adesanya
Although former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman understands that he has work to do before he gets a title shot, he believes he would be a bad matchup for the champion, Israel Adesanya.
Weidman, who is coming off a unanimous decision win over Omari Akhmedov last August at UFC Vegas 6, will be looking to make it back-to-back wins against Uriah Hall at UFC 261 this weekend.
Earning The Title Shot
During the pre-fight media scrum (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), Weidman said that he believes he could earn a title shot with two big statements wins inside the Octagon.
“I want to go out there and let the fans choose when they want me to fight [for the title], and I have to do that by making some big statements,” Weidman said. “I don’t expect it to be right after this Uriah Hall fight. I expect to fight another big name after that, and if it takes another one, it takes another one.
“But I think if I win two fights in spectacular fashion and I get to show my potential, I think people are going to want to see me fight for the title.”
Takeaways From Blachowicz vs Adesanya
At UFC 259, Jan Blachowicz successfully defended his light heavyweight title by beating Israel Adesanya. The Pole exchanged blows with ‘The Last Stylebender’ on the feet for the first three rounds, but shifted to a wrestling-heavy approach in the championship rounds, to earn a unanimous decision win.
Basing his opinion on Adesanya’s loss to Blachowicz, the two-time NCAA Division 1 All-American said that he’s a bad matchup for the champion.
“Seeing that fight, seeing how a strong guy was able to out-grapple him and get the takedowns, it definitely reaffirmed the thoughts that I had on that fight,” Weidman said. “That being said, I have some work to do. I got Uriah Hall. I don’t expect to be fighting Adesanya next. I do know I’m bad matchup for him, and when I’m able to prove it to everybody, people are going to want to see it.”
Weidman is 2-5 in his last seven fights, but after moving to South Carolina to train with his long-time friend and brother-in-law Stephen Thompson, the 36 year old believes that he’s back on track.
“I think I have all the potential in the world,” Weidman stated. “I just need to do the right thing. For a long time, I got away from working the way I should be working. I wasn’t in the gym all the time. I was cutting a lot of corners as opposed of doing as much work as possible. I was looking to do as little work as possible, and it was working for me for a couple of fights that I was winning.
“So it kind of gave me positive reinforcement into some bad habits. I think getting out of my environment which I was accustomed to and with the habits that I had, even just moving allowed me to fall in love with the sport again and just being in the gym to learn. I haven’t left the gym. I’ve been in the gym non-stop and that hasn’t happened since like before my [Lyoto] Machida fight. That’s the last time I was doing that. And for the Vitor fight that’s when I started slacking on my training.”
Do you think Chris Weidman is a bad matchup for Israel Adesanya?