Without question, Chris Weidman is the UFC’s fastest rising superstar. With his spectacular knockout of Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 5, he improved his record to 9-0 and his promotional mark to 5-0. But when you talk about Weidman, the biggest topic of conversation is to simply ask “what’s next?”
Based on how the Long Island native was answering questions in his post-fight press conference, it sounds as though he is itching to get his shot at Anderson Silva. But not too many people out there think that he is worthy of a title shot this soon. Making a direct comparison, UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones didn’t get a title shot until his eighth promotional fight after virtually destroying everyone in his way.
While we await the official news to drop regarding who Weidman will face next, former title contender Vitor Belfort has offered his opinion by calling out the Serra-Longo product.
Considering that the consensus No. 2 and No. 3 ranked middleweights in the world in Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz, respectively, were just defeated, in order for “The Phenom” to get another crack at Anderson Silva and his title, a fight against Weidman may be just what is necessary. Belfort had a lot of momentum behind him after he bounced back from the Silva defeat with two consecutive victories and a coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. But the broken hand that forced him out of the coaches’ fight with Wanderlei Silva took him out of the conversation, a conversation he now wants back in.
With Hector Lombard disappointing in his debut at UFC 149 with a loss to Tim Boetsch, and Boetsch having a broken foot, it only makes sense for Weidman and Belfort to lock horns considering the other two relevant middleweights, Brian Stann and Michael Bisping, will square off at UFC 152.
This may not exactly be the fight that Weidman wanted, but it is a necessary fight to get Weidman to where he needs to be. He may not exactly realize it now, but being called out by a star like Belfort is great for his career.
One thing’s for sure though: if this fight happens, the winner would receive a fast track at the title, and that is exactly what is on everyone’s mind.
Photo: Chris Weidman (L) applies a choke (James Law/Heavy MMA)