Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman didn’t want to talk about his three-fight losing streak any longer.
He just wanted to go out and end it.
“This is an indescribable moment,” Weidman said after a third-round submission of Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC on Fox 25 on Saturday night in Uniondale, New York. “This feels like I won a championship. Coming off some losses, I felt like I had to bite my lip, bite my tongue. I didn’t want my words doing the talking. I wanted to come out here and prove myself, do what all my coaches believe I could do, and to come out here and do it.”
It was a long time coming for Weidman, whose last win had come in May 2015. He had won the first 13 fights of his career and appeared to be an unstoppable force, before losing the title to Luke Rockhold and then dropping his next two fights.
Weidman still believes he is the best middleweight in the world, but knows he will have to prove it in the cage since his growing pains took place on such a big stage.
“People forget I was 9-0 (and) I was fighting Anderson Silva,” Weidman said after winning just miles from his hometown on Long Island. “I was fighting the best guys this sport has ever seen with no experience. I hit adversity when I was on the top of the world. Most people hit adversity at the beginning when they are just getting started. I hit adversity when everyone was watching, when everyone had comments and everyone was doubting me. It was a tough situation to be in.
“The only people that believed in me I think is Long Island, my family and my coaches. That gave me the confidence to know I’m the best in the world. Those other fights, they were learning experiences, and it was part of God’s plan for me. Every single one of those fights was a fight I felt I lost on my own. I think I came out here and did a great job and proved it here tonight.”
Weidman hopes the win will put him back in title contention in the near future.
Trolling the troll
It’s unlikely NBA star Draymond Green had any idea what he was getting into when he tried to call out Conor McGregor in an Instagram post early Sunday morning.
Green posted a picture of McGregor wearing a Golden State Warriors jersey with the No. 23 on the front and requested he not wear the jersey anymore because Green and the rest of his teammates were supporting Floyd Mayweather in the upcoming boxing superfight.
It wasn’t long before McGregor dropped into the comments to set him straight, pointing out he was actually wearing the jersey of former Warrior and Bishop Gorman alum, C.J. Watson.
“I don’t know who the (expletive) you are. No disrespect tho kid, keep hustling and stay in school,” McGregor wrote to Green.
“Now ask yourself why I’m rocking C.J. when I don’t know or give a (expletive) about basketball. I dribble heads off the floor. Not a ball. This is no game here kid.”
Watson and Mayweather have been infamously linked since a 2010 domestic violence case that sent the boxer to jail for beating and threatening Josie Harris, the mother of three of his children. Mayweather was allegedly infuriated after finding text messages from Watson on Harris’ phone.
It’s not the first time McGregor has referenced the incident on social media. In January, he posted an artistic rendering of himself knocking out Mayweather with the caption, “Call me C.J. Watson.”
The bout will take place Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena.
Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold finally has a fight booked for his return to action.
He will take on David Branch in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh on Sept. 16.
Rockhold has not competed since losing the belt to Michael Bisping in June 2016 in a stunning first-round knockout. A knee injury briefly kept him out of action, though the holdup in recent months has been more about a tumultuous relationship with the organization on where he stands in the title hunt and who he should be fighting.
Branch, a multiple division champion in World Series of Fighting, has won 11 straight fights overall and is coming off a win over Krzysztof Jotko in his return to the UFC in May.
UFC Fight Night 116 will air on Fox Sports 1.
Contact Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.
Tuesday: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (Fight Pass), TUF Gym
Saturday: UFC 214 (PPV), Anaheim, California
Aug. 1: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (Fight Pass), TUF Gym
Aug. 5: UFC Fight Night 114 (FS1), Mexico City
Aug. 8: Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (Fight Pass), TUF Gym