Chris Weidman had spent the majority of 2018 campaigning for a title fight, despite dropping three of his last five fights. After it was announced last month that Kelvin Gastelum would be stepping up to face Robert Whittaker after facing off as coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, The All American took to ‘The Ariel Helwani MMA Show’ to voice his displeasure with the UFC.
According to Weidman the UFC did not consider him for the fight due to his nagging hand injury, something which has kept him out of competition since his win over Gastelum over a year ago in July 2017. “They were saying they couldn’t depend on me with my hand. They were worried about my hand not being ready in time. They were initially saying they were going to fight at the end of the year show, and I was telling them I’d definitely be ready. And they said they couldn’t really justify putting money into the Ultimate Fighter show with the chance of me not being able to fight.”
Chris Weidman not having it
This explanation definitely didn’t sit well with Weidman, who went on to say “It kind of p****s me off because there are a whole lot of things that can wrong with any fighter, so for them to put me in that predicament p****s me off a little, but what are you going to do? I mean you got Gastelum who hasn’t made weight, Romero hasn’t made weight and Whittaker has been injured, too. There’s always things, it’s not like I am the only guy…what can you do?”
While it must have frustrated Weidman all the more that Whittaker won’t be fit to fight until early 2019, many fans agreed with the UFC’s decision to give the title shot to Gastelum, who is coming off wins against former champion Michael Bisping and perennial contender Jacare Souza. It also let the UFC set up what could be a pivotal rematch between two former Middleweight champions as Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold are set to face each other at UFC 230 in November. The first time the pair have squared off since Rockhold stopped Weidman back in 2015 to take the title.