Chris Weidman has dealt with a litany of injuries over the course of his MMA career, the latest of which have kept him on the shelf since last November.
After undergoing procedures on his neck and knee following a knockout loss to Ronaldo Souza at UFC 230, Weidman estimates that his total surgery count is at 22 to 23 over his entire life span. As he recovers from his most recent ailments, “The All-American” is hoping to return to the Octagon soon.
"I'm hoping in the summer,” Weidman said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “If I'm not in training camp in June, there's something wrong.”
The former middleweight champion has lost four of his last five UFC bouts dating back to December 2015, when he relinquished the 185-pound belt to Luke Rockhold. Weidman believes going forward, he can be a factor at both midddleweight and light heavyweight in the Las Vegas-based promotion.
"I can make 185 [pounds] OK still, but I also could fight at 205. I wouldn't be the biggest 205-pounder, but I know I could do pretty well there. ... I was always open to it, but I was so focused on getting my belt back at '85 for so long,” he said. “After every one of my losses, I was like, 'I gotta get my belt back. I gotta get my belt back.' At this point, my goal is -- whoever I fight, whether it's at 185 or 205 -- just get back to completely dominating and smashing somebody.”
Speaking of belts, the man Weidman last defeated, Kelvin Gastelum, recently came up short in a bid for interim middleweight gold against Israel Adesanya in a memorable bout at UFC 236. Count Weidman among those who were impressed by the “Fight of the Year” contender.
"Both of those guys just put it on the line. I have a crazy amount of admiration for both of those guys, what they did in that fight. That was unbelievable. I think that might have been one of the best fights I've ever seen, so I give nothing but props to both of them.”