There aren’t any awards out there for fighting the toughest competition in MMA. But if there were, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman would have to be among the front-runners for the title.
The New Yorker, who is still undefeated in his MMA career, entered the UFC after only five professional bouts. Just five bouts later, he was fighting for the UFC middleweight title, against longtime titlist Anderson Silva — who was then widely recognized as the greatest fighter in the sport’s history.
He capped off his meteoric rise with a TKO win over the old legend to win UFC gold.
In December, Weidman looks to defend that title for the fourth time.
“I’m excited to go out there, and run through Luke,” Weidman said to Ariel Helwani on “The MMA Hour” when asked about the match. “There’s just no way I see myself losing to this guy.”
But while he calls the upcoming bout “a huge part of my legacy,” there’s one name that Chris Weidman says he absolutely needs on his record. In fact, Weidman says he can’t retire until they fight.
That name doesn’t belong to a middleweight, or even an active UFC fighter.
Weidman explained to Helwani yesterday (as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting):
“I know for a fact, I’m not leaving this sport without fighting Jon Jones.”
“Unless he’s not coming back at all,” Weidman said. “But if he’s there, and I’m here, people are going to want to see it happen. And I want to see it happen.”
Weidman confirms that it’s nothing personal, however — just a matter of wanting to fight the best.
“That’s nothing against Jon,” Weidman said. “It’s just because I’m a competitor. I want to fight the best possible people. I want to have the biggest challenges in front of me and conquer them.”
As Weidman puts it, it’s just more of the same.
“That’s why I wanted to fight Anderson Silva when nobody else wanted to fight him,” he recalled. “I want the biggest challenges. I want to beat people who people think I can’t beat. And Jon is definitely going to be one of those guys.”