While Daniel Cormier racked up another title defense and Anthony Johnson decided to hang up the gloves, one of the most enthralling narratives to come out of the UFC’s trip to Buffalo, NY had nothing to do with the main event. In the co-main bout, former middleweight champion Chris Weidman took on top contender Gegard Mousasi. The bout started with Weidman in control, but a knee from Mousasi in round 2 upended the whole affair and put ‘The All American’ on the receiving end of his 3rd straight loss.
The knee was initially ruled an illegal strike by the referee, and Weidman was given time to recover. Upon further review, the strike was deemed legal. And Weidman, unable to answer the ringside physician’s questions correctly, was deemed unfit to continue. None of that is sitting well with the Serra-Longo fighter, who told the MMA Hour recently, that his team is appealing the loss and hoping to end up with a rematch out of it (transcript via MMA Mania):
“We sent in the appeal. It’s really on my managers, my trust is in them. They came up with something to send over, I looked it over, as did my wife. They sent it to New York and I think they might’ve got a reply. As for me and my hopes, to win an appeal in New York, especially it being so fresh, they are going to fight this thing to the death. At the end of the day, it doesn’t make a huge difference to me personally. I know what happened in there was chaos and not right and I was on the losing end of it. It sucks for a lot of reasons, but at the end of the day, I can’t control any of it and it’s over. I’ll just look to the future. Whether they make it a no contest or not, I’m not focused on it. I’ll let my management team deal with that and hopefully the right thing happens. I am not putting much time and effort into thinking about that. At the end of the day, it was a sucky situation that I was a part of and it wasn’t what I wanted to happen and I don’t think Mousasi wanted that to happen.”
“I think I would’ve went on to dominate Mousasi and even finish him. Now, this is all my opinion and you can argue this back-and-forth and we will never know for that event. But, I do want a rematch because I felt I was dominating the fight. Even in the second round when he came forward and I was doing the backpedaling and he was punching. He didn’t land anything and I was very coherent and I wasn’t rocked. The rest of the round, I mounted him and took his back. I know Mousasi wasn’t happy with the result, judging by him pulling down his flag and telling his coaches to stop the celebration. I know his tune changed at the press conference and he was coached into the way he was talking at that point. But his instincts were right and as a fighter you don’t want to win that way. It was a debacle.”
And while it seems unlikely that Weidman will get the decision itself overturned (something most commissions are loathe to do), he may get his rematch. With Michael Bisping vs. GSP continuing to stall the middleweight title picture, elite talent at 185 is going to have to find ways to stay busy. Of course, with Mousasi having completed his UFC contract off his UFC 210 win, staying busy might just mean going somewhere else.