Wednesday, June 13, 2018

UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker won a thrilling split decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 225, breaking his hand in the process. Recovery from the injury will take time, during which a new challenger will be announced, like from the top 5:
1. Yoel Romero
2. Luke Rockhold
3. Chris Weidman
4. Kelvin Gastelum
5. Jacare Souza

Whittaker won the first two fights vs. Romero, and Romero failed to make weight his last two fights, each of which was for some form of title, so #1 contender is not getting a shot.

Rockhold is coming off a loss to Romero and is 1-2 his last three, so the #2 contender is unlikely to get a shot either.

Jacare is 3-3 his last six, and coming off a Split Decision loss to Gastelum, so that would put Gastelum head of the Brazilian. And Gastelum is 4-1 with 1 NC his last six; further, the NC was a win overturned after he tested positive for cannabis. But, that one loss was to Weidman.

Weidman is just 1-3 his last four. But he’s coming off a win over Gastelum. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Weidman made the case for a shot.

“Obviously, for me, what would be the best case is to fight for the title,” said Weidman, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “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,” said Weidman on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, while declaring that he is the most decorated fighter in the division, who also happens to hold the most title defenses.

“I feel I am the most decorated guy in the division, I’ve had the most title defenses. 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 fight 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.”

“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,” he said.

“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…”