In front of his Long Island, New York, faithful at UFC on Fox 25, Chris Weidman needed to beat Kelvin Gastelum just to keep pace in an intensifying middleweight title picture and maintain his 185-pound ranking. Weidman prevailed with a third-round arm-triangle choke, snapping his three-fight losing skid and earning his first Octagon win in 791 days.
With the crucial win, Weidman retains his No. 7 ranking at middleweight. However, the UFC on Fox 25 main card is responsible for two fighters on the rise.
Persistent grinder Darren Elkins further showed the benefits of his relocation to Team Alpha Male, keeping his momentum going with a split nod over Dennis Bermudez. “The Damage” has now won five in a row inside the UFC and climbs one spot to No. 6 at 145 pounds.
Ten pounds south of Elkins-Bermudez, ranked bantamweights Jimmie Rivera and Thomas Almeida put on a thrilling show that saw Rivera prevail on the scorecards after 15 minutes of back-and-forth exchanges. It was the 20th straight professional win for “El Terror” and improves his perfect UFC record to 5-0. More importantly, with another win over a ranked 135-pounder, Rivera leapfrogs Marlon Moraes to break into our bantamweight top five.
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