“The All-American” Chris Weidman is out of UFC 199, a source close to the promotion told ESPN.
Weidman was originally scheduled to fight current middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold, the man who took his title at UFC 194 back in December, but an undisclosed injury has forced Chris out of the fight.
Weidman and his team are currently seeking medical opinions, and they hope he will be back in the octagon by UFC 205, which will take place in Weidman’s home state of New York.
Chris Weidman has not yet tweeted the news, but Rockhold wished his former opponent a speedy recovery.
Back in 2013, Weidman became world famous in mixed martial arts after he knocked out Anderson “The Spider” Silva at UFC 162. The event not only marked the only time Silva has been knocked out, but the first time since 2006 that anyone other than Anderson held the UFC middleweight championship.
Despite the achievement, some people in the MMA community wrote off Weidman’s win as a “fluke,” noting that Silva — who was repeatedly dropping his hands and teasing his seemingly less-skilled opponent — did not take his match seriously. Had The Spider not been “clowning around,” these MMA fans opined, Silva would have retained the belt.
Weidman proved these doubters wrong, though, at his UFC 168 rematch against Silva. The match not only saw him easily toss Anderson while they were in the clinch — a position The Spider is usually strong in — but it also saw Weidman retain the belt after Silva suffered a gruesome leg injury while trying to kick Chris’ leg.
Chris Weidman would go on to prove that he was more than just “some kid” who got lucky twice against Anderson Silva.
At UFC 175, Weidman beat MMA legend and former light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida, via unanimous decision.
Almost a year later, he would dominate another legend, Vitor Belfort, via a first-round TKO. Belfort is notable for being the last fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship to hold a win over Rockhold.
Weidman’s reign on top of the middleweight mountain came to an end, though, when he met Luke at UFC 194. Though winning the first round in the judges’ eyes, Chris would lose the next two rounds and finally succumb to a TKO loss in the fourth.
Now, with his injury, Weidman’s goals of getting his title back will be put on hold. The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s brass has not said what it will do about the main event, but one of the following three options would make sense.
The first option would be to replace Weidman with Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. This fight not only makes sense because of Souza’s dominance in the octagon, but because Rockhold is the man who took Jacare’s Strikeforce middleweight championship.
Another option would be to put Luke up against Michael Bisping. Bisping is not only riding a three-fight win streak and coming off of a huge win against Anderson Silva, but a match against Rockhold would be an excellent opportunity to avenge his loss to the champion at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs Bisping back in 2014.
Furthermore, Rockhold has already voiced his support for the rematch.
The final option would be to scrap the middleweight championship bout completely and give the main event slot to bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber, who will be battling it out on the card’s co-main event. With the history between these two and their fast-paced fighting styles, this match would surely keep people tuning in to UFC 199.
UFC 199 will go down live from Los Angeles, California on June 4. The Inquisitr will keep you updated on developments concerning Chris Weidman and the recently-canceled main event.
[Image by John Locher/AP Images]