Coach Shares Strong Take on Chris Weidman’s Possible UFC Return

Chris Weidman

Getty Chris Weidman

Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will return to the Octagon, according to his longtime trainer Ray Longo.

Longo, who, for years, has coached “The All-American” at his Long Island-based Serra-Longo Fight Team, spoke to MMA Junkie about the ex-185-pound king. Weidman hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts since suffering a leg break in April 2021 when Uriah Hall checked his low kick at UFC 261.

Weidman made his return to competition in March when he took on Owen Livesey in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match at Polaris 23.

After the bout, which he dropped via decision, The All-American reiterated to those watching that he planned to fight in the UFC again.

Longo Said Weidman Is ‘Definitely Fighting Again,’ The All-American is ‘Kicking Like a Mule’

Well, Longo is all in on his comeback.

“He’s definitely fighting again,” Longo said. “I’m going to say that’s 100 percent and in the gym, he had guys that he was training with – I was at a fight, Ring of Combat, maybe a couple of months ago, and his guys were in the dressing room telling me the guy’s an animal. He’s just dropping people in the gym and that leg is stronger than it ever was. I just asked Chris and he said he’s kicking like a mule with it, which is insanity to me. So he sounds great. He’s still a major problem in the room.

“Anthony Smith did that thing how this guy lost a couple of fights (and) it’s beyond him because he still does have it. He’s just got to do it now when he gets in the octagon. So I don’t think he wants to go out like that. I think any discussions would be after the next fight, but he’s 100 percent dialed in. That’s who he is. He doesn’t want to go out with people remembering him like that. So he’s definitely fighting again for sure, and I support really whatever he does at this point.”

Weidman Took the BJJ Match to Gauge How His Body Would Adjust to Competition

Weidman spoke with Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s “The MMA Hour” ahead of his match with Livesey. He said that it was a “good opportunity” for him to return to combat and gauge how his body would react. The All-American also targeted summer as a suitable timeframe for his return to the UFC, assuming his BJJ contest went well.

“It’s been a long road,” Weidman said. “I’ve been enduring this injury and recovery. It’s been four surgeries, I’ve had infections, it’s pretty much been hell. I’ve been asked a few times to do grappling events over the years and it just never really works out time-wise. I did the Abu Dhabi [Combat Club] back in 2009, I did the trials and then I got to go to the Abu Dhabis in Barcelona, Spain, and it was a great opportunity for me. I really enjoyed it and I always felt like I’d do grappling more often because I like doing it, but obviously MMA took over and that was what I’ve been focused on.

“But because my leg is still kind of healing, there are still some things standup-wise that I’m still dealing with, some issues with pain, and I was offered this Polaris grappling match, so I go, ‘You know what, this might be a good opportunity to get into a competition, get used to competing again, not just come in with complete ring rust in my next fight when I come back to the UFC’ I just thought it was great timing.”

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