Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has accepted the challenge of UFC phenom Khamzat Chimaev and has called for a January showdown between the two.
Following three wins (in two weight classes) in the span of just 66 days, Chimaev has risen to become one of the most talked about new additions to the UFC roster this year. His trio of impressive wins against John Phillips, Rhys McKee and Gerald Meerschaert saw the Chechen-born Swede absorb just two total strikes but with Chimaev’s next move uncertain, Weidman says that he is more than willing to step into the cage with the undefeated 26-year-old.
“This guy Chimeav needs some humbling would love to do that,” Weidman wrote on Twitter. “January I’m in! UFC make this happen.”
Since losing the UFC’s 185-pound title to Luke Rockhold in December 2015, Weidman’s results in the cage have suffered and he has won just two of his last seven fights. However, his most recent fight — a return to the middleweight fold after a one-fight stint at light heavyweight — saw him get back to winning ways with a unanimous decision win against Omari Ahkmedov.
Chimaev had previously told the media the Weidman has rejected the idea of a fight with him.
“I just want to let my fans know and the people who support me the UFC offer me Wonderboy and he turned it down at 170 and also Chris Weidman at 185, who also turned it down. I’m coming for everyone,” he wrote on Twitter.
All that seems to remain for now will be for the UFC to endorse the fight. Weidman’s status as a former champion would prove to be a robust test of Chimaev’s position within the UFC infrastructure and a win for him would likely mark his passage into the rankings. As for Weidman, a victory against the surging Chimaev would serve to reinvigorate his status in the UFC’s middleweight division.
But for now, we wait.