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Chris Weidman (UFC.com)

Chris Weidman (UFC.com)

When Chris Weidman steps inside the octagon this Saturday, he will not be alone. The Baldwin, NY native will have all of his friends and family cheer him on as he looks to gain some much-needed momentum.

After losing the UFC Middleweight Title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, Weidman (13-3) has lost his last two. Both of those losses were in New York (UFC 205, UFC 210). Back for a third time, this will be a big test for Weidman. He faces a man some say is the fastest rising star in the UFC, Kelvin Gastelum. The winner of the Ultimate Fighter 17, Gastelum (13–2 (1)) is trying to knock down the “old guard” and become a major player in the UFC Middleweight division.

Does Weidman have something to prove this Saturday? By the look of things, the answer should be yes. That is not quite how Wiedman see’s it however.

With every fight he has lost over the last two years, Chris Weidman looks at it as an unfortunate situation. He also believes he had all the momentum to win any of those fights. When speaking to Yahoo Sports, Weidman stated he doesn’t think those losses should define him, as he still thinks highly of himself. The “All-American” stated:

“They got their hands raised and I didn’t, but that doesn’t dictate my potential or where I am in the division. I feel like I’m the best in the world. I just have to go out there and be relaxed and be confident and I don’t think any one of these guys could beat me.”

Staying relaxed under pressure is a strategy that could make or break the former champion. Once at the top, Weidman is stuck and is currently trying to find his way out of the rabbit hole. With each loss, a chance at reclaiming his title disappears. He knows this, but doesn’t let it get inside his head. All he needs to do is focus on the task at hand, which is easier said than done. Gastelum has won five of his thirteen fights via knockout, and four by submission. Weidman on the other hand has won six by KO and three by submission.

According to the man himself, Weidman thrives under pressure. In order to prove he is the best, Weidman (33-years old) must be faster than his much younger opponent, who is 25. Age, or his current record has not stopped him. In fact, he believes nothing has changed as far as where he is in the UFC, stating:

“But I feel people are going to see the old Chris Weidman on Saturday. I don’t even want to say the old Chris Weidman, because that kind of makes it seem like I’ve been gone. I haven’t. I’m still here, right at the top. That’s just how I feel. I’m prepared to go out there to prove I’m the best.”

To say the old Wiedman is gone would be selling the man short. Realistically, you could say the man has just been on vacation. More confident than ever, Weidman can be a dangerous weapon when he steps inside the octagon at the Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night. When the bell rings, it’s up to him to determine which Chris Weidman will show up.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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