There have already been many amazing mixed martial arts fighters in the UFC who have well and truly left their mark. Many of these fighters have managed to make a name for themselves with intense fighting styles that always keep fans teetering on the edge of their seats.
Since you’re here, we’re going to assume you’re pretty well-versed about what the UFC is – including UFC betting spreads and the names of many of its most talented fighters.
If we’re right, then you’re probably aware of who Chris Weidman, aka “The All-American”, is, and why he is regarded as one of the best middleweight fighters in UFC history.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at his life and MMA career so far. Let’s dive straight in!
Before The UFC
Even before beginning his journey in the UFC, Weidman was taking the MMA world by storm. During his time at Nassau Community College, Weidman became an accomplished amateur wrestler and a decorated grappler.
Weidman also became the first-ever junior college wrestler to become NYS Collegiate Champion.
After moving to Hofstra, he became a two-time Division I All-American. This is where his title of “The All-American” originates from. He placed sixth at the NCAA ‘06 championships in his junior year and then third at the 2007 NCAA’s in his senior year.
His MMA career began in 2008 and joined the UFC just three years later.
Pre-UFC MMA Career
Ring Of Combat
The lure of professional MMA occurred to Weidman after assisting some fighters with their wrestling. As they say, the rest is history!
Under the guidance of Matt Sera and Ray Longo, Weidman made his professional MMA debut aged just 24. They helped him to hone his skills for the treacherous and arduous journey into MMA fighting.
Weidman represented the Serra-Longo Fight Team in the Ring of Combat 23 promotion in February 2009, submitting Reuben Lopes via the Kimura Lock. His next two performances resulted in TKO.
In Ring of Combat 24 just a few months later, Weidman stopped Mike Stewart with powerful punches in the first round. Then, in his third bout with Uriah Hall, Weidman went on to secure the ROC middleweight crown after a handful of successful fights for the organization.
He defended his crown at Ring of Combat 33 with an immense victory over Valdir Araujo. After this match, he was renowned as one of the greatest middleweight prospects and saw many contracts offers by multiple organizations looking to secure his talents. However, he waited until an offer from the UFC came through before making any decisions.
UFC Career (So far)
His UFC debut happened in early 2011 against Alessio Sakara. Weidman took on his first fight with only two weeks’ notice to prepare, replacing an injured Rafael Natal. Despite nursing his rib injuries he scored a unanimous decision on all of the judge’s score cards.
He competed in multiple UFC events including UFC 131 and 139 before head honchos at the UFC truly began to take note of the talents of the young rising star. Before he could blink, Weidman was thrust into the deep end of the middleweight category where he began to — and continues to — cause ripples.
After defeating Anderson Silva to win the UFC Middleweight Championship in 2013, Weidman quickly rose to global prominence. This ended Silva’s 16-fight winning streak in the UFC and also ended his seven-year reign as champion. Weidman became a force to be reckoned with, with boundless confidence and energy.
Move To Light Heavyweight
He announced his intention to move to the Light Heavyweight category in late 2019 after taking time out due to injury. His debut in this category occurred on October 18, 2019, against Dominick Reyes. Unfortunately, Weidman lost the fight via a first-round knockout.
Return To Middleweight And Injury
During UFC Fight Night 174, Weidman squared up against Omari Akhmedov on August 8, 2020, where he won the fight due to a unanimous decision.
However, during a rematch with Uriah Hall at UFC 261 (on April 24, 2021), Weidman’s right fibula and tibia snapped after a heavy outside low kick from Hall – who was declared the winner via a technical knockout.
Weidman underwent surgery and required a recovery period of anywhere from six to twelve months before resuming his MMA training. Only weeks after sustaining the injury, he had already returned to light training. He needed another surgery as the injury was not healing correctly, and had to cease training again.
Present Situation And The Future
After being sidelined and completely out of action for over a year, Weidman has hopes to return to the Octagon by the end of 2022. This can be attributed to his relentless determination throughout his rehabilitation program, which has seen him comfortably back in the gym.
Chris Weidman has had an incredible career pre-UFC and beyond, with lots of potential for more incredible future fights. There are many hopes that he will be back inside of the Octagon soon and we have no doubts that he’ll do everything in his power to be there!