Chris Weidman knows he needs to come up big against Uriah Hall at UFC 258, as the former UFC middleweight champion could potentially be cut if he doesn’t start racking up wins again.
Weidman isn’t exactly worried about being released but, in light of the UFC’s decision to cut 60 fighters by the end of the year, ‘All-American’ knows his career could be at stake against Hall.
“I’m not really worried about it but I wouldn’t be surprised,” Weidman told James Lynch of Fanatics View in a recent interview (h/t Abhinav KIni of The Body Lock). “There’s nothing that surprises me. I don’t think I’m more special than anybody where they’re just gonna go like, ‘oh, Chris Weidman’s a guy we’re just going to keep forever no matter what.’
“If I don’t prove I am a world class fighter and prove that I’m still title challenger ready, then yeah, I can hundred percent see that.”
With Yoel Romero and Anderson Silva recently axed by the UFC, Weidman thinks the premiere fight promotion is planning to rid themselves of some of their highest-paid athletes to free up space for the younger, lesser-paid fighters.
“It’s unprecedented that they’re letting guys go with fights on their contract,” Weidman said. “It really does put everybody in a position if you’re in the UFC like, ‘oh crap.’ If you’re not winning right now, especially if you’re getting paid a lot of money, it looks like they’re trying to get rid of you and bring these younger guys up who they’re not paying as much money.
“It seems like they’re kind of focused on that.”
Weidman is 2-5 in his last seven bouts and hasn’t won more than two consecutive fights in over five years. The UFC veteran returned to the win column with a unanimous decision victory against Omari Akhmedov at UFC Vegas 6 and will look to return to form with another win against Hall at UFC 258.
Weidman KO’d Hall under the Ring of Combat banner in 2010 but the latter is currently on a three-fight win streak and will head into their rematch on Feb. 13 oozing with confidence. Hall last fought just two months ago at UFC Vegas 12 where he KO’d Anderson Silva in the fourth round.