When the UFC held their first event at Madison Square Garden, former champ Chris Weidman was a shoe-in for a slot on the card.
Despite losing his belt to Luke Rockhold, Weidman’s reign at the top was still fresh in the minds of all. Heck, the loop of him dethroning – and destroying – the legendary Anderson Silva was still in heavy rotation.
But Weidman fell to Yoel Romero that night, and when the UFC came to upstate New York, Weidman lost to Gegard Mousasi. It seemed as if the one fighter who most represented the Empire State couldn’t quite find that mojo that made him so special.
On Saturday, Weidman and the UFC return to MSG for UFC 230, and Weidman has managed to find that elusive “W” by tapping out Kelvin Gastelum on Long Island back in July. Originally, Weidman was supposed to rematch with Rockhold, but the duct tape that holds Rockhold together grew frayed, so now the opponent is Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
If this fight were going down four years ago, Jacare would be toast. Weidman was at the height of his grappling and striking powers then. Now one could touch him.
But he’s very touchable now. Jacare has long been elite, top contender in the division, and it’s possible that his touch could send Weidman tumbling to the canvas to get tapped out.
All of this begs the question: Are Chris Weidman’s glory days gone?