This past Saturday in the featured prelim of UFC 292, we saw the return of a former world champion. Chris Weidman (15-7) made his long awaited debut as he took on fellow veteran Brad Tavares (20-8). It was Weidman’s first fight in over two years.
In April 2021, Weidman took on Uriah Hall. Just seconds into the fight, Weidman threw a powerful leg kick and his leg snapped as Hall checked the kick. The result of that leg break was multiple surgeries, extensive rehab, and a lot of time off just to get Weidman back in the cage.
The former middleweight champion turned 39 in June, but he was determined to make the walk again and he did. Weidman looked great physically. However, before he could really get comfortable in the cage, Tavares started blasting his lead leg with kicks. That became the story of the night as Weidman’s knee got destroyed by Tavares’ kicks.
In the second round, Weidman threw caution to the wind and really went after Tavares. However, he could never sustain an attack that could hurt the Hawaiian. In addition, he couldn’t land any takedowns which ultimately resulted in him losing a decision.
Should the former UFC champ retire?
At the post-fight press conference, Dana White said that he would love to see Weidman retire. He pointed to the long road Weidman had just to get back to the octagon and then pointed to the fact that he’s probably got a knee injury that’ll have him on the shelf for another extended period.
However, Weidman has already come out and said that he will not retire after UFC 292. I will say that Weidman didn’t look like a fighter who needed to retire after Saturday night. He did have moments in there and he did make things competitive despite the serious knee pain he was in.
I didn’t walk away thinking that he was just a complete shell of his former self. Now, do I believe that he’ll climb the mountain again and become UFC champion? No, however, he can be competitive and I’d love to see him go out with a win.