Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold took aim at another former middleweight champ, Chris “The All-American” Weidman, after the latter’s performance on August 8, and Rockhold said that he would like to fight him again.
The two former champs are longtime rivals, and they have fought once before. In December 2015, Weidman stepped inside the Octagon at UFC 194 for his fourth title defense. The All-American, who was undefeated at the time (13-0), took on Rockhold who was looking like a world-beater. Rockhold was on a five-fight win streak and boasted a 15-2 record.
During the buildup to the fight, there was no shortage of trash talk. They fought in the main event of UFC 194, and Rockhold dethroned Weidman, winning by fourth-round TKO. Because The All-American had been dominant for so long, he was granted an immediate rematch against Rockhold. However, a few weeks before their scheduled UFC 199 bout, Weidman pulled out due to injury.
Michael Bisping replaced Weidman on short notice, and knocked out Rockhold in the main event of UFC 199 in June 2016.
In a recent interview, Rockhold made it known that he is still interested in a rematch with Weidman.
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Rockhold Thinks That Weidman’s Recent Performance Was ‘Pathetic,’ Wants a Rematch
Rockhold spoke with Submission Radio this week and confirmed that he was interested in fighting The All-American. Rockhold last fought in July 2019 at light heavyweight and lost to Jan Blachowicz by KO. After the fight, Rockhold seemed to be steering toward retirement, however earlier this week he confirmed that he wanted to fight again.
Rockhold watched Weidman’s return to the Octagon on August 8. Weidman, who was also coming off a loss at light heavyweight, moved back down to the middleweight division and defeated Omari Akhmedov by unanimous decision. The All-American did not put on the most impressive performance of his career, seemingly gassing early in the fight, but that did not stop Weidman from using his world-class wrestling to get the victory.
Rockhold was not impressed with The All-American. He told the outlet (transcribed by Middle Easy): “Chris Weidman seems to think he’s back in business. I beg to differ. He’s always wanted to run it back, and I wouldn’t mind sending him back.”
“[His performance was] pathetic.” Rockhold continued. “Maybe he had weight issues or what, but it looked like a heavyweight fight. It looked like a low-level heavyweight fight. I don’t know. Didn’t like it. It’s a comeback, it’s a weight issue. Maybe he’s got some issues, but nah. Look, it was bad.”
The timing for a rematch between the two former champions makes a lot of sense. Weidman and Rockhold seem to be at a crossroads in their career and a fight between the two could be telling for both fighters.
Rockhold & Weidman Have Both Fell On Hard Times Since Losing Their Middleweight Belts
The All-American and Rockhold have not had much success inside the Octagon since losing their belts. Weidman has fought six times since losing the Rockhold, going 2-4. He has a notable victory over Kelvin Gastelum, however he was finished by either KO or TKO in his last four defeats.
Since losing his middleweight belt to Michael Bisping, Rockhold has three times. He won his comeback fight against David Branch but lost his last two fights by knockout.