“The All-American” is this week’s “Forgotten Man.”

By quick recollection, there hasn’t been a UFC champion who has received less publicity than Chris Weidman as he heads into his co-main event title-belt tangle with Luke Rockhold on Saturday’s PPV from the MGM.

Weidman is still the man who dethroned GOAT candidate Anderson Silva and then handled business in the rematch. He’s defended the belt against Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, putting the latter away in less than three minutes.

Weidman is a perfect 13-0 with nine wins by stoppage including six knockouts. He has never made headlines for all the wrong reasons (ex: Jon Jones), he seems to be a class act, and comes from New York where he should be a media attraction from The Today Show to The Tonight Show and all points in between.

But other than a respectable amount of attention from the MMA-exclusive media, Weidman is going largely unnoticed, cast in the co-starring role to Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. He’s also been bypassed in the last few days by sudden guest star Ronda Rousey, who curiously came out of hiding during the UFC’s biggest week of the year. It was unnecessary timing for the UFC to pull her out of hibernation. There would have been no harm in holding off for a week, and her re-immergence might have lent a hand in promoting the largely unheralded Dos Anjos-Cerrone 2 card coming a week before Christmas.

McGregor, Aldo (somewhat), and Rousey have stolen much, if not all, of Weidman’s thunder. Weidman is not the type of guy to create his own media storm. He’s not Belfort with his bravado and accompanying controversies. He’s not his predecessor Silva with his charm and, well, controversies, too. He’s not pretty like Paige Van Zant and Sage Northcutt. He’s not next line for the winner of McGregor-Aldo like Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, and Urijah Faber all are.

Weidman is just there … with a championship belt.

If Weidman holds onto his crown, there’s only one fight left for him in the middleweight division which is the winner of the top-contender bout between Jacare Souza and Yoel Romero. That matchup just so happens to precede the Weidman-Rockhold bout on this weekend’s PPV card.

Though he’s far from a big-news kind of name since his first win over Silva, maybe there’s more awaiting Weidman in the 205-pound ranks.

A title versus title showdown with Daniel Cormier is intriguing.

Could Weidman withstand Anthony “Rumble” Johnson’s punching power?

Or perhaps best of all, Weidman welcoming “Bones” Jones back to the cage in a mega-profile superfight.

Regardless of what is ahead, it’s a shame that Weidman is being overlooked heading into his third title defense. Weidman’s profile is far above other champions like Demetrious Johnson and Rafael Dos Anjos, and arguably higher than both Cormier and Fabricio Werdum. Yet, the UFC hasn’t done much to shine the spotlight, let alone a flashlight, on him this week.

He might not be brash, boastful, and belittling to his opponents, but he’s still a champ.

About The Author

Scott Zerr
Staff Writer

Scott joins The MMA Corner having spent the last 14 years in mixed martial arts as Director of Media & Fighter Relations for the Maximum Fighting Championship. He will provide The MMA Corner with insight on breaking news in the sport, plus an insider's perspective on business developments, matchmaking, fighter signings, and much more. In addition to his longtime work in MMA, Scott was a sports reporter before moving into media relations and marketing. After growing up and working in Edmonton, Alberta, Scott has since moved to Bakersfield, California to be with his wife Christina (an avid fight fan, thank goodness) and kids.