UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was able to deal Yoel Romero his second loss inside the Octagon on Saturday night with a split decision verdict. If it were up to him, he would be facing another fighter for his next title defense.
During Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, former 185-pound champion Chris Weidman offered to be the next challenger to Whittaker’s title, and he did so by also making case for himself.
“Fighting Whittaker, that’s a guy I match up well with and that’s a guy I feel I can go out there and finish,” Weidman said (transcript via MMA Mania).
“I feel I am the most decorated guy in the division, I’ve had the most title defenses,” he added. “I had a rough patch, I went undefeated my whole career, I lost one, happened to lose three in a row. My mind, I felt like it wasn’t in the right spot.”
“I came back, got myself where I needed to be, got my mind back and I went out there and beat one of the top contenders, Kelvin Gastelum. I feel like I dominated the fight and went out there and finished him. I feel like you’re only as good as your last fight and I finished the other guy that we’re talking about in my last fight. I think I definitely deserve shot at the title. It will be a good fight.”
Weidman did go on a three-fight skid from 2015 to 2017, and for this, he also has a response for.
“If you’re going to start doing that, you are picking what is the worst look for me,” Weidman said. “If you’re going to go back, look at my whole career. If you’re going to start with my first losses, it’s going to look bad. But if you look at my whole career, I’ve fought only the best guys in the world since I’ve been in UFC and I’ve done pretty damn good, have the most title defenses and I went through a little rough patch and I climbed my way out of it, I didn’t have any rough patches before that.”
“There’s a lot of losses in Gastelum’s career that don’t look so good. We have one common, we fought each other so that answers the question. I went out there and I finished him, he had the same opportunity and he went out there and lost to me, so...”
Weidman (14-3, with ten wins by stoppage), last fought in July, where he defeated Kelvin Gastelum via third-round submission. His return date has yet to be determined, as he heals up from a hand injury.
The interview begins at the 1:29:55 mark of the video above.