On October 18 in Boston, Massachusetts, Chris Weidman will make his light heavyweight debut in the main event vs. the undefeated Dominick Reyes.
Weidman a former middleweight champion has seen his career become a roller coaster ride since his 2 wins over Anderson Silva. He has compiled a 3-4 record since winning and defending the belt against Silva. Maybe a move up in weight will see him round back into championship form or it will further make some believe he had 2 of the luckiest wins in UFC history.
Weidman vs. Reyes
Weidman’s upcoming fight with Dominick Reyes (#4 LHW) will be the start of a new chapter in his career. Weidman has been lackluster in his last five fights (1-4), all 4 losses coming by way of TKO/KO and even in his one victory, he was dropped and nearly finished. Weidman will need to return to his style of fighting which saw him as more of a grappler. He has slick takedown entries and he has said that he will utilize his wrestling more in this division.
Reyes is using this fight as a possible springboard to a title shot. Reyes is on a 5-fight win streak in the UFC after winning a split decision over Volkan Oezdemir. Side Note: I thought Volkan won the fight. Although he has 1 win versus a top 10 opponent (Jared Cannonier), fans will look at his record and clamor for him to get a title shot. His performance against Volkan would lead me to think that he must win another high-profile fight before getting a title fight. Would this fight versus Weidman be considered a high profile fight? Not in my opinion.
Reyes is the younger of the 2 fighters and he is also more athletic, bigger in size, has momentum and more importantly finishing power (8 out of 11 victories by stoppage). Reyes will need to utilize his size to keep Weidman fighting with his back on the cage and to negate takedown attempts. Although he has 2 wins via submission, a ground fight should not be in his game plan. A win over a struggling Weidman really doesn’t enhance Reyes’ resume’ but a loss would temporarily remove him from the title picture.
What would a win mean?
A win for Weidman would be a great start to chapter 2 of his UFC career entering a new division. A loss for Weidman could possibly lead to him being relegated to a fledgling fighter competing to stay relevant or even worse he may be let go by the UFC. A win for Reyes could secure a title fight against Jon Jones sometime in 2020 and a loss would keep him in the top 10 but he would most have to win 2 fights to be back in the title picture.
Chris Weidman could use his wrestling to secure a victory, but I see Dominick Reyes winning this fight by stoppage in the third round setting him up for a title fight with Jon Jones in 2020.
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The Scrap’s Lee Brown is a 22-year Air Force Vet, fan of all sports – especially UFC, NFL & NBA, and cohost of Lee N Keys Real Talk Podcast. You can follow Lee on Twitter (@Levanstian757) and Instagram (@Va121Lee).