Chris Weidman will document UFC comeback; hoping to inspire on his journey back

Chris Weidman

We are just about two weeks removed from UFC 261. An event that proved to be the worst night of Chris Weidman‘s (15-6) professional career. The former middleweight champion felt better than ever leading up to UFC 261.

Weidman had moved to South Carolina and was training regularly with his brother-in-law and UFC welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. The former champion looked to be incredible shape ahead of his second fight since returning to the middleweight division.

Weidman explored light heavyweight for one fight before dropping back down to 185. It’s been a rough few years for the former UFC champion, but he still believes that he’s one of the best in the world and he was excited to show that.

Standing in front of Weidman was Uriah Hall (17-9). Hall has finally realized some of his potential and he’s been surging as of late. The two men fought very early in their careers with Weidman picking up the TKO victory.

Weidman was confident that he would once again win at UFC 261. When the fight started, Weidman looked incredibly focused. He threw a vicious leg kick to start his striking.

Weidman told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that in the moment he thought he hurt Hall. Weidman said, “The first thing that went through my mind was, that was a super hard leg kick. He’s (Hall) not taking more than one or two of those.”

After that, things get blurry for the former UFC champion. Of course, we all vividly know what happened. Weidman’s leg snapped on the kick and it folded under him when he stepped back causing the fight to end.

Weidman wants to inspire with UFC comeback

A frustrated Weidman detailed the injury to Helwani and talked about his frustrations that it happened. Weidman said that he felt better than ever after this camp and he was so excited to show off just how good he is.

Admittedly, Weidman said that recovery is already more difficult than he ever imagined. The former UFC champion said that he deals with incredible amounts of pain just trying to go to the bathroom. He’s supposed to start physical therapy this week.

When asked about a UFC return, Weidman made it clear that he’s hopeful.

“It’s so frustrating and I know how much work it’s going to take. I know how good I am and I want to be able to prove it. I don’t have many more years to be able to prove that. My body never felt so good before this fight, I just can’t believe this happened. It sucks, I was really excited to show the world how good I am. If I can get my body back to where I feel like I’m that guy again, I 100% want to fight. I want to put on a show and be able to inspire other people.”

Chris Weidman on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show

The former UFC champion also stated that he will document his rehab and comeback on his YouTube page. Weidman has always been one of the better guys in the sport, and I hope that he’s able to come back from this and put on a few more performances before hanging it up.

After setback at UFC 261, what’s next for Jimmy Crute?

Jimmy Crute (12-2) had a massive opportunity at UFC 261. He had the opportunity to fight a top six opponent and former title challenger, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16).

Going into UFC 261, this fight was being looked at as a stepping stone for Crute. Many in the media including myself are extremely high on Jimmy Crute and his talent.

A win over someone like Lionheart Smith would put Crute only a win or two away from a UFC title shot. That said, it wasn’t going to be an easy fight and there’s plenty of fight left in Anthony Smith.

When the fight started on Saturday, Crute was really working his leg kicks. He couldn’t get much going up top because of Smith’s piston-like jab that kept popping his head back throughout the first round.

However, Crute was doing some damage to the legs of Smith at UFC 261. You could tell that if Crute just landed a few more kicks to the right spot, Anthony Smith was going to be in a lot of trouble.

Just before the end of the round, Smith landed the perfect leg kick on Jimmy Crute which really injured his knee. Crute struggled to finish the round and the doctor called a stop to the action in between rounds. A disappointing end at UFC 261 for the Australian.

What’s next after UFC 261?

While UFC 261 didn’t go as planned, I wouldn’t say that it’s a major setback. Crute took a big step up in competition and he came up short. That doesn’t take away from his talent or what I think is in store for his future.

I believe that Jimmy Crute will be a serious contender for the UFC title one day. However, Saturday night showed that it’s not quite time just yet. So, what does the UFC do with Crute now?

Well, the first thing is his health. Once it’s determined how long he has to be out, then the promotion can start thinking about an opponent. An opponent I really like is Crute’s original opponent, Johnny Walker (18-5).

Walker and Crute were supposed to fight before Walker got injured. Anthony Smith then jumped in to fight Crute at UFC 261. These two young contenders will still put on an excellent fight and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense.

What’s next for Anthony Smith after UFC 261 win?

Anthony Smith

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (35-16) and Jimmy Crute (12-2) kicked off the PPV main card. It was a big fight for both men as Jimmy Crute was looking to continue his rise while Lionheart was looking to get back towards the top of the division.

Jimmy Crute was a popular pick leading up to UFC 261. While Lionheart looked good against Devin Clark in his last win, his previous two fights left a ton to be desired. Crute looked like he could be a real threat in the light heavyweight division.

In all honesty, I picked Crute going into the fight. However, Lionheart looked sensational on Saturday night. When the fight started, Smith immediately established his piston-like jab. Crute’s face was showing some damage very early in the first round.

Towards the end of the first round at UFC 261, Smith landed a brutal leg kick that landed right on the knee of Crute. Crute immediately went down, but he tried to continue. After the round was over, the doctor checked Crute out and waved off the fight after he couldn’t walk without stumbling.

What’s next after UFC 261?

UFC 261 was a massive night for Lionheart. Beating Devin Clark is one thing, but finishing Jimmy Crute in the manner that he did was incredibly impressive. He’s shown everyone in his last two fights that he has plenty left in the tank.

With two wins in a row, what does the UFC do with Lionheart next? Well, he told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani yesterday that he simply doesn’t care. He said that if they want him to fight another rising contender he will or if they want to put him in a title eliminator, that’s fine too.

I think the UFC might seriously look at a matchup between Smith and Magomed Ankalaev (15-1) next. They are ranked sixth and seventh in the light heavyweight division currently. I think a fight between these two would be a perfect fight for the division.

If Smith wins, you put him right into a title eliminator. Ankalaev is one of the top prospects in the division and people think he can be a future UFC champion. Putting him in there with Lionheart would be a massive test, but if he passes, it might be time to either give him a title shot or a title eliminator.

What’s next for Jessica Andrade after UFC 261?

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Jessica Andrade (21-9) was trying to capture the flyweight title. To do that, she was tasked with taking on arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Valentina Shevchenko (21-3).

Andrade is a powerhouse of a female fighter. She is known for her strength and her incredible power. The flyweight division is actually her third weight class since joining the UFC.

When she broke through with the promotion, she started with the bantamweight division because that was her only choice. When the strawweight division opened up, Andrade dropped 20 pounds to 115.

Andrade rose to the top and became the UFC strawweight champion. However, her strawweight run ended with back-to-back losses. After two straight defeats, Andrade moved to what is considered her natural weight class of 125 pounds.

In her first fight, she took on Katlyn Chookagian. Andrade’s power was on full display and she stopped the top flyweight contender in the first round. Afterwards, the UFC immediately started hyping up the fight between Andrade and Shevchenko.

Many people expected Jessica Andrade to give Valentina Shevchenko problems at UFC 261. Well, that wasn’t the case. The fight ended up being extremely one-sided and Shevchenko retained her title with a second round TKO.

What’s next after UFC 261?

Valentina Shevchenko sent a massive message to Jessica Andrade on Saturday night. Andrade is known for her power takedowns and fighting in close. Many thought if the fight took place in close quarters that she would have the advantage.

Well, the UFC flyweight champion made a point to keep the fight in close quarters to show that she has no weaknesses. She dominated Jessica Andrade playing Andrade’s game. So with that loss, where does Jessica Andrade go from here?

Well, there are a couple of options. Andrade could always return to strawweight if she ever wants to. She’s 1-1 with the new UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (10-4). Andrade knocked Namajunas out in the first fight and lost a close split decision in the second fight.

It would be relatively easy for the promotion to sell the trilogy. However, the odds are that she will want to stay at 125 pounds. Assuming that’s the case, I think the UFC should look at booking her against Cynthia Calvillo (9-2-1).

Calvillo is another strawweight turned flyweight. Currently, she’s ranked fifth in the UFC and she’s also coming off of a loss. I think it would be an excellent matchup that would keep both ladies relevant at 125 pounds.

After losing the title at UFC 261, what’s next for Zhang Weili?

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Zhang Weili (21-2) was set to defend her strawweight title against Rose Namajunas (10-4). Weili has been dominant since she came to the UFC and was the betting favorite heading into Saturday.

I personally thought she was going to be too much for Namajunas. If you go by MMA Math, Weili looked like a tough matchup for Namajunas. We’ve seen Thug Rose struggle against Jessica Andrade.

Andrade knocked Namajunas out with a slam in their first fight and hurt her very badly in their second fight. Now, Namajunas did get the split decision win in the second fight, but it was a really tough fight for Thug Rose.

Weili is just as powerful as Andrade, but she’s more well-rounded. She destroyed Andrade to capture the UFC strawweight title and appeared to have no weaknesses. She’s tough, powerful, and she has incredible technique.

However, on Saturday night, she didn’t have much time to show it. Thug Rose looked better than ever and knocked Weili out in the first round with a beautiful head kick. Weili protested the stoppage, but the stoppage was justified. UFC 261 saw Weili lose for the first time in her UFC career.

What’s next after UFC 261?

After the fight was over, Weili posted on her Instagram that she was hopeful that the UFC would book the rematch. Now, you can make the argument for the rematch considering the way the fight ended.

One big strike and the fight was over quick. No telling how the fight goes if that strike doesn’t land, but at the end of the day it did. On the flip side, you can say that the fight was incredibly one-sided with how quickly Namajunas knocked her out with that kick.

I could definitely see the UFC booking the rematch next. However, if they don’t, there are other options for Weili. The one I like the most is the rematch with Joanna Jedrzejczyk (16-4).

The two former UFC strawweight champions had the fight of the year in 2020. Weili edged Joanna with a split decision win, but the rematch would be incredibly easy to sell. Before UFC 261, Joanna said that she wanted a shot at the winner.

However, with Joanna coming off the Weili loss and having already lost to Namajunas twice, I don’t see it happening. Weili – Joanna is the way to go in my opinion and I really hope the UFC looks at that rematch next to establish the number one contender.

After regaining the title at UFC 261, what’s next for Rose Namajunas?

In the co-main event of UFC 261, we saw the strawweight title fight that the world had been waiting to see. Zhang Weili (21-2) was set to defend her title against the former champion Rose Namajunas (10-4).

“Thug” Rose has been through a lot over the past few years. The former UFC champion went to the top of the sport and shocked the world at UFC 217 when she defeated the long reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Immediately, the two strawweights ran things back and Namajunas again got the better of Joanna. There was no doubting that Rose Namajunas was the best strawweight in the UFC.

However, outside the cage, Thug Rose was struggling. The anxiety and pressure of being the champion was weighing heavy on her. At UFC 237, Namajunas lost her title when she got knocked out by a slam by Jessica Andrade.

Most champions would be extremely upset, but Namajunas seemed relieved more than anything. In fact, she contemplated having UFC 237 be her last fight. However, having the time to regroup, Thug Rose found her passion and fire for fighting again.

After some time away, she returned last year and avenged her loss to Jessica Andrade. That led her to UFC 261 where she took on Weili. Before the fight, a focused Namajunas could be heard saying ‘I’m the best’ during the introductions.

Early on at UFC 261, Namajunas looked light on her feet. She looked like the same Thug Rose that won the title back in 2017 and we ended up seeing the same result. A beautiful head kick came just over a minute into the first round that put Weili out and Thug Rose regained the UFC strawweight title.

What’s next after UFC 261?

This is truly such a remarkable story and UFC 261 wasn’t the end of it, it was just the end of a chapter. Now, we are going to see the second reign of Namajunas over the strawweight division.

With that being said, what’s next? Well, the UFC could always run things back with Zhang Weili. Weili looked like she was going to be extremely difficult for anyone to beat at 115 pounds, but got caught with the perfect shot early in the fight.

Because of the nature of the fight, I could see the promotion running it back. However, I’m not sure they will. If not, the fight to look to would be the Carla Esparza (17-6) and Yan Xiaonan (13-1, 1 NC) matchup that takes place next month.

These two UFC strawweights both have winning streaks of at least four heading into the fight. Whoever wins that matchup could be next in line for the UFC champion. Namajunas has history with Esparza that dates back to their first official fight in the UFC.

Esparza defeated Namajunas in the finals of The Ultimate Fighter to become the strawweight champion. Xiaonan is the surging contender from China who has gone 6-0 since joining the UFC. If she gets to 7-0, it would be hard to deny her a shot at Thug Rose.

UFC: Jorge Masvidal says he ‘has to’ fight again in 2021; Interested in potential Nick Diaz matchup

This past Saturday at UFC 261, Jorge Masvidal (35-15) suffered his first knockout loss inside the octagon. The man who handed him that loss is also the man who has now beat Gamebred twice in a row, Kamaru Usman (19-1).

The knockout loss was the first time that someone has put Masvidal to sleep with strikes. We have seen Masvidal briefly floored before, but never has anyone completely shut the lights out. Kamaru Usman did just that at UFC 261.

Now, Masvidal is left wondering what’s next. Gamebred sat down with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani today to talk about the fight and what the future holds for him. Make no mistake about it, while he’s hurting emotionally, Gamebred isn’t going anywhere.

“I’ll definitely fight again this year. I have to…As it was, if it wasn’t for this suspension and this knockout, I would’ve been fighting three or four times this year. It’s something I wanted to do. If I can at least get one more fight this year, I’ll be happy.”

It’s clear that Masvidal is still going to be a factor in the UFC‘s welterweight division. He also told Helwani that he wants to wait to call out his opponent because he wants to call out someone realistic based on the welterweight landscape. Although, when asked about Nick Diaz (26-9, 2 NC), Gamebred said he would be down.

UFC Future for Masvidal

Nick Diaz was in attendance at UFC 261 and Dana White said after the fights that Diaz wanted to return to the octagon. In fact, they were meeting after the event was over. When Helwani asked about Diaz, Masvidal said he would definitely be interested.

“Definitely, Nick is a stud. (If) Nick wants to throw down, I’m more than willing to throw down. Like I said, I’m going to do it on my time. If Nick wants to fight near the end of this year, what can I say, I’m here. If you wanna do right by your brother, let’s go.”

After Masvidal defeated Nick’s younger brother Nate at UFC 244, Nick Diaz told Ariel Helwani that he wanted to get that fight back for his family. He wasn’t happy with the words Masvidal used following the win and he wanted to fight him.

Of course, at one point in the past, it looked like the UFC was putting that fight together. Dana White broke the news to reporters that the UFC was close to finalizing Nick Diaz – Jorge Masvidal at UFC 235 back in 2018.

Of course, the deal fell apart and the fight never happened. Gamebred went on to fight Darren Till and the rest is history. However, with Diaz setting up to return and Masvidal needing an opponent, perhaps the fight makes sense.

Time will tell, but I’d say that Nick Diaz is definitely in the running for Gamebred’s next fight.

UFC: Daniel Cormier would go back to 205 for MMA match with Jake Paul

Daniel Cormier

One of the biggest stories from UFC 261 had nothing to do with what happened inside the octagon. Before the PPV main card even kicked off, The Problem Child Jake Paul (3-0 Boxing) made his way into the arena.

UFC fans promptly greeted Paul with a ‘F*ck Jake Paul’ chant. When Paul found his way to his seat, he started heckling and nagging former two-division UFC champion and current commentator Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC).

Cormier detailed the interaction today on his ESPN show with Ariel Helwani. DC said that Paul was heckling him so when he had a moment, he asked his producers for a couple of minutes but didn’t tell them what he wanted to do.

When given the time, the former UFC champion marched right over to Jake Paul. There have been a number of videos that show the interaction between the two men. It appeared that Cormier was lecturing the 24 year old.

The former UFC champion said he had a simple message for Jake Paul, “Don’t play with me.” DC said there are certain guys you can play with like that, but he’s not one of them.

Paul said recently that he wanted to box Cormier. However, Cormier said today that he wouldn’t box Jake Paul because he doesn’t need to. However, the former UFC champion would absolutely fight him if he was willing to come over to MMA.

UFC: Daniel Cormier – Jake Paul?

On speaking about a potential fight with Jake Paul, the former two-division UFC champion said the following:

“I made my money as the heavyweight champion of the world. I don’t have to chase a payday. This kid wants to fight, okay, I’ll fight him. But, it will be a mixed martial arts competition. If he wants to actually fight with me, fight me in mixed martial arts. I’ll fight him all the way down at 205. I’m living happy, I’m fat and healthy. I’ll go all the way down to 205 to fight this kid.”

There is no way that Jake Paul would ever fight the former UFC champion in MMA. Jake Paul will never accept any fight in mixed martial arts unless it was somebody with no professional fighting experience.

Jake Paul will not even box a legit boxer at this stage in his career. The opponents he will be fed are all hand selected for him to beat. If Jake Paul were to ever fight Daniel Cormier in MMA, he’d likely end up in a hospital.

I will say this about Jake Paul, he’s smart. The kid has made great money by trolling the world, but he’s starting to enter a world where people don’t play games. The former UFC champion is one of those people.

Personally, I would pay an ungodly amount of money to watch Jake Paul fight Daniel Cormier in any combat sports arena. I know exactly what the result would be. However, we all know that Jake Paul will never take that fight so this potential matchup with the former UFC champion is all just talk.

After horrific injury at UFC 261, what does the future hold for Chris Weidman?

Chris Weidman

This past Saturday at UFC 261, there was a highly anticipated rematch in the middleweight division. Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (15-6) was set to take on Uriah Hall (17-9).

This fight was a rematch from 2010. Way back when they first fought, Weidman got the first round TKO victory. It was just the third fight in the former UFC champion’s career. Both men have come a long ways since then.

It’s been a difficult few years for the former champion. After losing the title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, Weidman went just 2-4 in his next six fights. So going back to the Rockhold fight, Weidman was just 2-5 and all five losses were finishes.

In late 2019, Weidman moved to light heavyweight hoping to have a career resurgence. Instead, he was knocked out in the first round by Dominick Reyes. After that, the former UFC champion returned to middleweight.

In August of last year, he returned and picked up a good win over Omari Akhmedov. With that win, Weidman found himself back in the rankings at the eleventh spot. That win got him the fight with Uriah Hall.

By all indications, Weidman was more motivated than ever heading into UFC 261. He looked great all week and the odds actually swung to his favor before fight night. However, the fight ended up being a nightmare for the former champion.

Weidman came right out and looked to be aggressive. He pawed his jab trying to gauge the distance. The former champion unleashed a leg kick that was checked and his leg snapped. The former UFC champion crumbled and the fight was over.

What’s the UFC future for Weidman?

The injury that occurred at UFC 261 is so crazy and a little ironic at the same time. Famously, the same thing happened to Anderson Silva when he had his rematch with Weidman back at UFC 168.

Weidman checked Silva’s kick and the leg snapped. This has only happened three times in the history of the UFC and Weidman has now been apart of two of them. One time he was the checker and Saturday night he was the breaker.

The former UFC champion took to Instagram today to thank everyone for their support. He said that the doctors are telling him it will be six to twelve months before he can train again.

If we take the conservative number there, we likely won’t see Chris Weidman compete in the UFC for about 15-18 months. I don’t believe Chris Weidman’s career is over and he won’t be even 38 by the time he’s back.

However, there’s no telling as to how he will respond to the recovery. There are so many question marks surrounding Weidman’s future. I pray that he’s able to come back healthy, but at this point, no one knows if he will.

After dominant win at UFC 261, what’s next for Valentina Shevchenko?

This past Saturday at UFC 261 we got to see a flyweight title fight that the world was intrigued by. The undisputed flyweight queen Valentina Shevchenko (21-3) defended her title against former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade (21-9).

Heading into the fight, the UFC and Dana White really hyped up the former strawweight champion to build interest. The thought was that the power and pure strength of Andrade could give Valentina Shevchenko problems she has yet to deal with.

However, let’s not forget that Shevchenko has fought 40 minutes with Amanda Nunes (21-4). Nevertheless, the UFC was building up Andrade was a truly formattable challenger for the title.

Well, on Saturday night, Valentina Shevchenko made a massive statement to everyone. Dana White said that Shevchenko fought like a demon at UFC 261 who was pissed off at everyone.

Shevchenko did what everyone said Andrade needed to do at UFC 261. She engaged Andrade in the clinch and in close quarters. However, Andrade couldn’t do anything and Shevchenko showed just how strong she is.

Shevchenko ragdolled the former UFC strawweight champion on Saturday night. There wasn’t one aspect of the fight that she didn’t dominate. In the second round, she secured the crucifix position off of a powerful takedown and got the TKO win.

What’s next after UFC 261?

At UFC 261, Valentina Shevchenko once again proved that there are levels to this game and nobody is even close to hers at 125 pounds. She’s so far ahead of the rest of these ladies it’s not even funny.

The thing that makes her so special is how well-rounded she is as a martial artist. She has elite striking, elite grappling and she’s stronger than most of the bantamweights on the roster.

The only person on the entire UFC roster that can compete with Shevchenko is Amanda Nunes. This is not an exaggeration or being a victim of the moment, but I truly believe that Shevchenko is the second greatest female mixed martial artist we’ve ever seen.

She is inches behind Nunes and if you have a hard time believing that, watch their second fight from UFC 215. Personally, I scored that fight for Shevchenko and if she would’ve won that split decision, she would be called the greatest.

In my perfect world, I would love to see the trilogy between these two ladies, but Dana White has dismissed that. In terms of the next contender at flyweight, there are a couple of upcoming UFC matchups to watch.

A few weeks from now, Katlyn Chookagian (15-4) takes on Viviane Araujo (10-2) at UFC 262. Then, in June, Lauren Murphy (14-4) takes on JoJo Calderwood (15-5). One of these four ladies will get the next crack at the champion. My only advice to whoever gets that shot is good luck because you’re going to need it.