Chris Weidman may be down, but he refuses to say he’s out.
The former middleweight champion looked to reinvigorate his career this past Friday night when he moved up to 205 pounds and challenged light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes in the UFC on ESPN 6 main event.
Sadly, Weidman’s night ended much the same as many of his most recent fights at middleweight after he suffered a crushing knockout, this time less than two minutes into the opening round.
With five knockout losses in his past six fights, Weidman has heard far less support in his pursuit to become champion again and instead he’s found a lot of cries for him to call it a career.
On Tuesday, the 35-year-old former champion released his first statement since falling to Reyes this past weekend while defiantly adding that while he’s definitely hit a rough patch in his career, he has no desire whatsoever to walk away from the sport right now.
“I just want to let everyone know I’m all good just obviously bummed with the result,” Weidman wrote on Instagram. “I knew Dom was a tough fight and he proved to be more than that with a beautiful timed left hand that put me down in the first. I jumped in with a right hand and the range was off and he capitalized. Sucks for me.
“As for what is next for me. I’m hearing a lot of “you should retire comments” and I get where you are coming from based on the results of my recent fights. It’s crazy because with a win over Reyes the chances of me fighting for the world championship were very strong. Now to be getting hit with the retirement talk is really a big swing for me to get used to hearing. I will tell you that I am definitely not ready to retire. I still love this and am very hungry to get back in there.”
Following an undefeated run to start his UFC career, including two wins over arguably the greatest middleweight of all time in Anderson Silva, Weidman was considered one of the faces of the organization.
He lost his title to Luke Rockhold in 2015, and ever since that time, Weidman’s record has been littered with knockout losses as well as a lot of time off due to injuries and several surgeries.
Weidman concedes that he’s faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles in recent years, but he’s not giving up his dream to one day wrap a UFC championship around his waist again and he has a message for anyone who has stopped believing in him.
“I believe I have the abilities to still be world champion. I know some of you are shaking your head and laughing at me when I say that. Well screw you and thanks for the motivation,” Weidman said. “This fight I was coming off a year lay-off, two major surgeries, and a weight class change. Way too much time out of the gym and I feel like that did play a role in this fight.
“The fact that I’m healthy right now and can get back in the gym is territory that I’m not used too. I will be back soon and I will look good doing it. Thank you everyone for your support and I’m sorry to let you down. This extreme low in my career will be part of my story and I will finish on top.”
While Weidman is already plotting his comeback, UFC president Dana White said this past weekend that he planned to have a “conversation” with the former middleweight champion about his future after suffering his fifth knockout in the past four years.