Chris Weidman believes fans want to see him fight Israel Adesanya: I’m a bad matchup for him

Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC & Zuffa LLC

If he can rise to middleweight title contention again, former kingpin, Chris Weidman believes fans would be clamouring for a matchup between himself and defending titleholder, Israel Adesanya.

Weidman, who returns to the Octagon this weekend at UFC 261, tackles former-foe, Uriah Hall in a rescheduled rematch, after a bout with COVID-19 forced him from a pairing earlier this year.

Snapping a two-fight skid in his most recent Octagon appearance, the Baldwin native featured at UFC Vegas 6 in August — taking home a unanimous decision success against Omari Akhmedov in a co-main event slot.
The win came as Weidman’s first since July of 2017 — where he headlined a UFC Fight Night Uniondale event against recent UFC Vegas 24 headliner, one-time interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum — rallying to take a third-round arm-triangle win.
Speaking with reporters at a UFC 261 media day ahead of this weekend’s rematch with Hall at the Vystar Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida — Weidman took a keen look at Jan Blachowicz’s UFC 259 win over the above-mentioned, Adesanya, and maintains that he would be a bad stylistic battle for the City Kickboxing mainstay to overcome.
Seeing this fight (Blachowicz vs. Adesanya), seeing how a strong guy was able to out-grappler him (Adesanya) and get the takedowns, it definitely reaffirmed the thoughts that I had on that fight,” Weidman said. “That being said, I have some work to do. I got Uriah Hall. I don’t expect to be fighting (Israel) Adesanya next. I do know I’m a bad matchup for him, and when I’m able to prove it to everybody, people are going to want to see it.
While remaining realistic that a win over Hall won’t see him leapfrog the likes of Robert Whittaker and Marvin Vettori into the sweepstakes to earn rematches with Adesanya, Weidman believes he’ll earn a sizeable name with a win over the Spanish Town striker which could land him in title conversations.
I want to go out there and let the fans choose when they want me to fight (for the title), and I have to do that by making some big statements,” Weidman explained. “I don’t expect it to be right after this Uriah Hall fight. I expect to fight another big name after that. If it takes another one, it takes another one. But I think — win two fights in spectacular fashion and I get to show my potential, I think people are going to want to see me fight for the title.

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