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Weidman believes he has one more run in him as an elite
Ultimate Fighting Championship titleholder will confront
Hall in a UFC
261 rematch—Weidman defeated the two-time Ring of
Combat champion by technical knockout in 2010—on Saturday at
the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
Weidman, 36, has lost five times across his past seven appearances,
as injuries and mileage have begun to pile up. He last competed at
UFC Fight Night 174 on Aug. 8, when he laid claim to a three-round
unanimous decision over Omari
As Weidman makes final preparations for his rematch with Hall, here
are five things you might not know about the Baldwin, New York,
1. Wrestling formed his competitive backbone.
Weidman was a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Nassau
Community College in Garden City, New York, and Hofstra University
in Hempstead, New York. He compiled a 51-21 record in two seasons
at Hofstra, placing sixth nationally as a junior and third
nationally as a senior. Weidman graduated with a degree in
psychology. He was inducted into the Nassau Community College Hall
of Fame in 2014.
2. He was a prodigy in grappling circles.
Just three months after he began his formal Brazilian jiu-jitsu
training, Weidman won his first Grappler’s Quest tournament—his
weight class and the absolute division—and submitted all 13 of his
opponents in doing so. He later qualified for the 2009 Abu Dhabi
Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships in Barcelona,
Spain, where he pushed seven-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world
champion and eventual tournament silver medalist Andre
Galvao to the limit before losing on points. Weidman went on to
reach the quarterfinals in the absolute division, emerging as one
of the tournament’s breakout stars.
3. He enjoyed sustained excellence in MMA.
Weidman won his first 13 professional bouts and spent 889 days as
the undisputed UFC middleweight champion, successfully defending
the 185-pound crown on three different occasions. Anderson
Machida and Vitor
Belfort were the opponents for those title defenses. It stands
as the second-longest reign in the division’s history behind only
Silva’s historic 2,457-day stay at the top.
4. His base skills remain formidable.
Weidman’s wrestling chops have translated quite well at the highest
level of mixed martial arts. He ranks first on the UFC’s all-time
list for middleweights in takedowns (42), seventh in top position
time (46:19), eighth in takedown accuracy (48.3%) and 10th in
control time (56:57).
5. Top-flight opponents account for his losses.
While injuries have taken a heavy toll on his career, Weidman has
managed to avoid any “bad” losses on his resume. The five men two
whom he has lost—Luke
Rockhold, Yoel Romero,
Souza and Dominick
Reyes—sport a combined record of 114-28-2, with 94 of their
victories having resulted in finishes.