Chris Weidman reveals what was told to him by the UFC about why Kelvin Gastelum was granted the next title shot instead of him.
Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman has been out of action for more than a year now. He has been kept in the sidelines by a thumb injury he sustained during his last fight against Kelvin Gastelum in July 2017.
Currently ranked at number three, Weidman proclaimed himself to be the “most decorated guy” in the middleweight division, which should warrant him the next title shot. Instead, the UFC chose to grant it to number four-ranked Kelvin Gastelum, who will also coach the 28th season of the Ultimate Fighter against Robert Whittaker.
During Monday’s episode of The Ariel Helwani MMA Show on ESPN, Weidman revealed what was told to him by the UFC brass on why he was passed over.
“They were saying they couldn’t depend on me with my hand. They were worried about my hand not being ready in time,” Weidman said (transcript via MMA Mania). “They were initially saying they were going to (have me) fight at the end of the year show, and I was telling them I’d definitely be ready. And they said they couldn’t really justify putting money into the Ultimate Fighter show with the chance of me not being able to fight.”
The 34-year-old Long Island native felt that such reasoning was not fair, considering that many of his contemporaries have been in similar situations, but were nonetheless granted title shots.
“It kind of pisses me off because there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong with any fighter, so for them to put me in that predicament pisses me off a little, but what are you going to do?” Weidman said. “I mean you got Gastelum who hasn’t made weight, Yoel Romero hasn’t made weight and Whittaker has been injured, too.”
“There’s always things, it’s not like I am the only guy...what can you do?”
Weidman is currently being slated to face fellow ex-middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in a rematch at UFC 230 on November 3rd in New York City.