Following a devastating leg injury suffered at UFC 261 back in April 2021, Chris Weidman (15-6) is preparing to make his triumphant return to the Octagon.
Earlier this month, the former UFC champion returned to competition with a grappling match versus Owen Livesey at Polaris 23. While Weidman lost this match via unanimous decision, he looked quite confident during, and this served as an excellent test as he eases his way back into combat sports.
Chris Weidman made his comeback earlier this month in a grappling match against Owen Livesey. It was a very competitive fun contest.pic.twitter.com/6BTXiXUEGl
— 𝕽𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖒𝖆𝖐𝖊𝖗❂ (@Sa_Gwang) March 30, 2023
Prior to his injury, that required two surgeries to repair, Weidman secured impressive victories over some of the best in the sport, including Demian Maia, Kelvin Gastelum, and Lyoto Machida. These wins are obviously in addition to his most prominent victory that was achieved with a knockout of Anderson Silva to snatch the middleweight title from the long reining champion, back in 2013 at UFC 162.
— UFC fans (@ufcfansfr) August 27, 2022
Further to making a comeback that many saw as unlikely following breaking his leg versus Uriah Hall, Weidman expressed during an interview on The MMA Hour that he also wants to make another run at the middleweight title.
“I’m not coming back to be a B-rated fighter or a gatekeeper or anything like that. I went through all this hell not to just comeback and be like that. I’m going to come back and try to get back what is mine, try and get that belt.
“After analyzing these guys and watching the middleweight division these last two years, with everyone at the top of the division, I don’t think there’s any reason why I can’t beat those guys. I’m excited to work my way up and get there soon.”
Weidman was originally hoping to return to UFC action this June, but now has UFC 290, during International Fight Week 2023 in July, circled on his calendar. Also targeted for UFC 290, featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-2), will plan to square off with Yair Rodriguez (15-3).