Chris Weidman Likes His Chances Against Israel Adesanya, “I’m a Bad Match-up”
Chris Weidman realizes that he needs to put together some wins, before a fight with Israrel Adesanya can happen. But, if that takes place, Weidman believes the champ's reign would be in serious trouble.
Chris Weidman understands why there’s a lot of buzz tied to Israel Adesanya these days, and knows how talented “The Last Stylebender” is. But, the former middleweight champ believes Adesanya’s undefeated record will be at serious risk, if they ever fight.
Weidman says he’s a “bad match-up” for Adesanya
Right now, it’s not clear when Weidman will fight next, but the “All -American” has said he plans to fight at middleweight. After Weidman was quickly taken out by light-heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes last September, he announced his next bout would be back at 185 pounds.
Weidman was booked to fight middleweight contender Jack Hermansson on May 2nd, but the card was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Well, recently Weidman spoke with MMA Fighting. Since he’s planning to make another title run at middleweight, the 35-year-old was asked for his take on Adesanya.
Here’s some of what Weidman had to say.
“I think the guy’s super talented,” Weidman said. “He’s the new champion. He’s got the star power, and when I’m all said and done with my career, I really want to fight the best guys in the history of the middleweight division.
I think I’ve done that, and Israel’s one of those guys I haven’t got to fight yet.
“….Obviously, I’m coming off losses,” Weidman said. “I don’t want to talk too much, but it is a really good matchup for me.
Obviously, I got knocked out by Yoel Romero, and he didn’t, but I engaged a lot more. His other fights, if you compare my fight with Kelvin Gastelum, I pretty much dominated that fight and then finished him.
I finished Anderson Silva twice, and he had a close fight with him, too.
“I just think matchup wise, everything is about matchups, and I think I’m a bad matchup for him. A guy who could get him down and control him. I’m very dangerous with submissions as well, and [I could] knock him out at the same time.
I would love to get that opportunity, and right now I’m far away, at least in my eyes. I’ve got some serious work to do. But that is the end goal.”
Does Weidman have a point?
Is Weidman a bad match-up for Adesanya? On account of his well-rounded game? Which includes a NCAA Division 1 wrestling pedigree and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
There’s certainly people who have questioned whether Adeanya’s wrestling and ground game has been thoroughly vetted yet. That’s one of the reasons he pushed for a bout with Yoel Romero, and Adesanya boosters would point out that he beat the decorated wrestler.
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That said, Romero only attempted three takedowns in the fight. Adesanya also took out Derek Brunson, who has notable wrestling skills as well. But, Weidman supporters would likely argue his wrestling and top game is at a higher level.
All this aside, it’s hard to imagine Weidman facing Adesanya anytime soon. Weidman likely needs to defeat two or three top middleweight contenders before he’s in the title shot mix.