Chris Weidman has been a dominant middleweight champion thus far. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
While Chris Weidman might feel that he hasn’t yet received the proper recognition for his current reign atop the UFC’s middleweight division, at least one prominent figure within the Las Vegas-based promotion has already placed the 185-pound king in some pretty lofty company.
“He’s on a Jon Jones-type run right now in the 185-pound division,” UFC President Dana White told UFC.com. “The thing is with Jon Jones is that he went four years taking out all the best 205-pounders in the world. Weidman is beating straight killers right now.”
Jones truly made his mark in 2011, when he bested Ryan Bader, Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida en route to capturing light heavyweight gold. He remained unbeaten through six more title defenses before being stripped of the belt and suspended indefinitely by the UFC last month.
Weidman made his third successful title defense at UFC 187, as he withstood an initial Vitor Belfort flurry before putting his foe away with ground-and-pound 2:53 into round one. It was the Serra-Longo Fight Team representative’s first Octagon appearance since a five-round verdict over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in July 2014.
The “All-American” now owns victories over Anderson Silva (twice), Machida and Belfort in his last four outings. With such a noteworthy list of victims on his resume, White believes it’s only a matter of time before Weidman reaches a new level of stardom.
“It takes time,” White said. “You look at Anderson Silva and how long it took for him to even resonate. He really blew up after he beat Vitor, so maybe Vitor is the launching pad for all these guys.”