UFC president Dana White wants two decorated veterans on the company roster to finally call it quits. One of them fought on Saturday night at UFC 292 after two years on the sidelines, while the other last saw action before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The UFC boss shared these sentiments with the media during his post-fight scrum at the TD Garden in Boston.
Dana White calls for Chris Weidman’s retirement
The first retirement conversation that came up was concerning former middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The 39-year-old Long Island native broke a two-year absence against the always game Brad Tavares. Weidman unfortunately lost via decision and went home with two battered legs.
According to Dana White, Weidman ‘blew one of the CLs’ in his knee, likely caused by Tavares’ kicks. And when asked about the ex-champ’s future, the UFC president didn’t hesitate with his response.
“I love Chris Weidman. I love him, I love his family, and I think he should retire. We talked to the doctor, the doctor thinks (Weidman) blew one of the ‘CLs’ (in his knee). The guy’s just coming back from a gruesome injury,” he told reporters.
“Father Time is not our friend at all, but definitely, if you’re a professional athlete.
“Depending on the damage to the knee, you’re talking another year. I would say, ‘Chris, I love you. Please retire.’”
For Dana White, Weidman has nothing left to prove.
“Weidman reached the pinnacle of the sport and did it in spectacular fashion, knocking out one of the greatest of all time. Why (fight again)? To come back and feel it one more time? You felt it tonight.
“He blew his knee out. He’s gonna have to go through crazy surgery again, recover from it. Why? You’ve already done it all.”
Dana White feels the same way about Joe Lauzon
As revealed in the presser, UFC veteran and Brockton, Massachusetts native Joe Lauzon wanted to be part of the company’s return to Boston in 2023. According to Dana White, it didn’t materialize because the card was already full when Lauzon asked.
As for Lauzon moving forward in the UFC, White also gave a straightforward answer.
“I would like Joe to retire, too,” he said.
“Joe Lauzon, at one point, held the most Fight of the Night bonuses or performance bonuses. He’s been part of the Ultimate Fighter. He’s done so much in the sport.
“You get to an age where it’s just, like, ‘Come on, guys.’”
Chris Weidman says he’s not done
While obviously disappointed by the outcome of his comeback, Weidman refuses to call it quits.
“I’m just happy to be here. And I hope I could be an inspiration to people who have had big setbacks in their life. That you could come back from it on the highest level. Whatever you want to accomplish, you could do it,” he told Megan Olivi for ESPN during a backstage interview.
“I’m not done. I’ll be back better than ever. This was a good opportunity for me to get back in the Octagon.”
Fight fans know Weidman’s claim to fame as the man to dethrone the great Anderson Silva, and doing so during the latter’s peak. However, he’s never been the same since he lost the title to Luke Rockhold in bloody fashion after a mid-fight decision gone wrong.
Since that loss in 2015, Weidman has gone 2-6 in his succeeding bouts, including UFC 292. His current record stands at 15-7.
What’s been happening with Joe Lauzon?
Lauzon did have his fair share of memorable performances, with wins over Melvin Guillard, and TUF alums Diego Sanchez and Michael Chiesa. He also put on performance bonus-worthy showings twice against fellow OG Jim Miller.
Now 39, Lauzon last fought in 2019 against Jonathan Pearce, whom he defeated via TKO. He was supposed to face Hall of Famer Donald Cerrone in 2022, but the fight was canceled twice.
At this point in his career, he’s more about taking fights on his own terms.
“I have to like the opponent, I have to like the date, and I have to like the location. If this is the last fight, cool. If this is not the last fight, cool. But just keep sending me names,” Lauzon said in a May 2022 interview.
Lauzon holds a record of 28-15.
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