After a little over two years on the sidelines, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will make his Octagon return. The 38-year-old fighter is slated to be back in action in August against a fellow veteran.
Weidman hasn’t seen action since he broke his right leg against TUF alum Uriah Hall at UFC 261 in April 2021.
Chris Weidman returns to action
According to multiple reports on Monday, Chris Weidman’s return will be against fellow veteran Brad Tavares. It will be part of UFC 292, which takes place on August 19th at the TD Garden in Boston. Weidman was also part of the UFC’s last event in the city, when he made his light heavyweight debut against Dominick Reyes.
As for Tavares (19-8), he is currently on a two-fight skid. He last fought in April against Bruno Silva and lost via first-round TKO.
Chris Weidman hoped for an earlier return
In early 2022, Chris Weidman did an interview where he spoke about the status of his recovery. At the time, he was expecting to be back in good enough shape to begin a training camp. But in his mind, he is still worthy of a top-tier opponent.
“My leg’s not where I need it to be yet, to be happy going into the Octagon against world class guys and think I can be the best in the world. It’s not there yet just because of strength and a little bit of pain I’m still dealing with in the lower leg while moving around.”
For Chris Weidman, the only reason to fight on is to pursue the one thing he loves doing.
“A lot of people out there are like ‘why are you doing this? You already became champion. What’s the point of putting yourself back out there, possibly getting knocked out, possibly getting hurt again. People think I have other abilities to make money and why would you be doing this?
“Honestly, I’m not doing it for the money. I’m not doing it for any other reason than I truly love it.”
Chris Weidman’s UFC record
Weidman had a strong start in his MMA career and in the UFC. In his tenth professional fight where he held an undefeated record, he faced then consensus-GOAT Anderson Silva for the undisputed 185-pound title in 2013.
Weidman defied the odds and stopped “The Spider” to become champion, and again won in their rematch later in the year. He had a total of three title defenses, subsequently against former champion Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, before losing the belt to Luke Rockhold in 2015.
Weidman compiled a three-fight skid after and was never the same unstoppable force that he was. He’s gone 2-3 in his last five fights as he holds a record of 15-6.
In March, Weidman entered a submission grappling match under Polaris. The NCAA Division I wrestler competed against English judoka Owen Livesey and lost on the scorecards.
Other announced fights for UFC 292
UFC 292 is slowly shaping up. Still set to headline the event is the bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley, a fight that the champion has not fully accepted. The co-headliner is the strawweight title fight between Zhang Wheili and Amanda Lemos.
Former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt will also be part of the card and will face MMA Lab’s Mario Bautista. “No Love” is coming off a decision win at UFC 285 against Trevin Jones in his return to bantamweight.
Also included is former RFA middleweight champion Gerald Meerschaert, who will face the streaking Andre Petroski. Meerschaert last fought at UFC 287 in April against Joseph Pyfer and lost via first-round TKO.
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