In the aftermath of his disappointing defeat to Gegard Mousasi in the UFC 210 co-headliner, Chris Weidman was still at a loss.
The middleweight bout ended in controversial fashion, as it was temporarily halted when Mousasi landed what referee Dan Miragliotta believed to be an illegal knee while Weidman had both hands on the canvas. Replays showed that Mousasi lifted Weidman’s hand off the mat while landing the knee, making it legal.
Initially, Weidman was given a five-minute recovery period, but cageside physicians entered the Octagon and ruled that the Serra-Longo Fight Team product was unfit to continue. With that, Mousasi had his fifth consecutive victory. The former middleweight champion, meanwhile, was saddled with his third straight defeat and left to wonder what might have been.
“I’m pretty frustrated. First off I don’t want to twist this thing up. I want to give Gegard respect. It was a good fight. It’s nothing to do with him,” Weidman said on Fox Sports 1. “At the end of the day, what was done is completely not right. They called the illegal knee. I was told I had five minutes multiple times. And then, there’s no such thing as instant replay in New York, but they went back to replay and said it was a legal knee. But they’re not allowed to do that. How could it possibly have been a stopped fight?
“You can’t go the direction as it it’s a TKO like they stopped the fight because I was hurt. My hands were still on the mat. They stopped it because he thought it was an illegal. Once the ref does that, it’s an illegal knee. If he’s telling me it’s an illegal knee, he can’t go to replay and switch it.”
Weidman got off to a solid start in the matchup, landing multiple takedowns in the opening round and staggering his opponent with an overhand right. Mousasi was beginning to turn the tide in the second stanza, but it still appeared to be anyone’s fight before he landed what turned out to be the fight’s decisive knees.
As a result, Weidman is hoping to get some closure on the situation, both in New York and with Mousasi.
“Immediate rematch and appeal. Yeah,” Weidman said. “I want to get three rounds with him fair and square. I want to finish him. I felt great. What happened just sucks for everybody. I feel bad for everybody that was watching at home and out here. Obviously for me it was not the way I wanted this thing to turn out. It’s going to be a tough pill to swallow, but I want the right thing to happen. It’s just a messy thing. That rule just got changed. It was like one hand [down], then it was two hands. And then they stopped the fight…I thought my hand was down but apparently on the replay it wan’t. But the ref thought it was . You can’t go back by looking at the replay. It’s not legal.”
While Mousasi seemed willing to grant Weidman a rematch during his post-fight interview in the Octagon, his tone changed considerably at the post-fight press conference.
“Weidman didn’t want to fight,” he said. “The knees were legal. That’s not my fault. Don’t try to take advantage of the rules.”
Whether the rematch occurs remains to be seen, as Saturday marked the end of Mousasi’s current UFC deal. UFC President Dana White said the promotion would like to re-sign the Dutch fighter, but Mousasi also has a relationship with Bellator head Scott Coker from his Strikeforce tenure.