Yes, Chris Weidman has had to pull out of two scheduled fights with Vitor Belfort due to injuries, but the UFC middleweight champ seems somewhat annoyed that there’s talk of putting up an interim title at this juncture.
Weidman was supposed to throw down with Vitor Belfort at UFC 184 last this month, but a rib injury forced him to withdraw. The champ was also booked to fight Belfort in December, but in that case, a hand injury prevented Weidman from fighting.
Well, after this latest delay, the UFC reportedly approached Lyoto Machida and Belfort about fighting for an interim title. The latter passed on the opportunity. While it looks like an interim title fight isn’t going to materialize any ways, Weidman recently admitted on “The MMA Hour” that he didn’t care for the idea (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“You know, I thought it was kind of stupid,” Weidman said. “I’m just like, hang on,Anthony Pettis was out for a year. Johny Hendricks was out for like nine months. Cain Velasquez, they just did an interim title, he was out for how long? A year and a half? So I’ve been out for six months, I just get an injury now that’s going to [hold] me out six-to-eight weeks, then I’m ready to go. So for them to do an interim belt is kind of crazy. It doesn’t match up to [how much time] other guys (have missed) when they’ve done interim belts. I don’t have an ACL tear. I’m not going to be out for a year, indefinitely, no matter what. Hopefully this thing heals even faster than six-to-eight weeks.”
It’s pretty hard to find fault with Weidman’s point here, as he did, after all, decision Machida last July. So why all the talk about an interim title? As Weidman went on to add, it was just a way to hype up a headlining fight and more tickets and pay-per-view sales.
The 30 year-old champ also relayed that he’s going to be ready to fight by the end of April, or May. So if Belfort were to fight on February 28th, then what? Would the title fight get pushed back even further? At this point, waiting for Weidman-Belfort seems like the way to go.
The new headliner for UFC 184 is the bantamweight title fight between champion Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano. The event will be hosted by the Staples Center in Los Angeles.