Former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman had a hometown crowd behind him on July 22, when the UFC held a UFC on FOX event in Long Island, New York. His back against the wall in a must-win bout, Weidman managed to submit Kelvin Gastelum in the third round.
Weidman came into the bout losing three straight after going undefeated towards a middleweight title reign and three title defenses. Weidman lost his championship to Luke Rockhold, got knocked out by Yoel Romero at Madison Square Garden, and lost to Gegard Mousasi in controversial fashion. But at the arena where he grew up watching New York Islanders games, right across the street from the university where he was an All-American wrestler at, Weidman rose back.
After a bit of feeling out, Weidman took Gastelum to the mat and began controlling the action on the ground throughout the first. Weidman had a scare, however, when Gastelum rocked Weidman towards the end of the round with a right hook and a straight left. Had Weidman lost his balance, referee John McCarthy may have been tempted to stop the fight.
Fortunately for Weidman, he survived the late barrage and worked over Gastelum all over on the ground in the second. The third round saw a bit of a different story, as the two came out brawling, and Weidman rocked Gastelum early on. Gastelum survived, and managed to avoid a lot of the subsequent shots and a takedown attempt. But once Weidman got him to the ground, Weidman continued to work over Gastelum. About three-and-a-half minutes into the third, Weidman locked in an arm-triangle and scored the submission.
UFC Long Island Main Card (8 p.m., FOX)
Middleweight: Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum via submission (arm-triangle choke) (Rd. 3, 3:45)
Featherweight: Darren Elkins def. Dennis Bermudez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Light heavyweight: Patrick Cummins def. Gian Villante via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Bantamweight: Jimmie Rivera def. Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-27)
UFC Long Island Preliminary Card (6 p.m., FOX)
Welterweight: Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Lyman Good via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
Middleweight: Eryk Anders def. Rafael Natal via KO (Rd. 1, 2:54)
Welterweight: Alex Oliveira def. Ryan LaFlare via KO (Rd. 2, 1:50)
Heavyweight: Chase Sherman def. Damian Grabowski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
UFC Long Island Early Prelim Card (4 p.m., UFC Fight Pass)
Featherweight: Jeremy Kennedy def. Kyle Bochniak via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Bantamweight: Marlon Vera def. Brian Kelleher via submission (armbar) (Rd. 1, 2:18)
Heavyweight: Júnior Albini def. Timothy Johnson via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:51)
Featherweight: Shane Bugos def. Godofredo Pepey via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-28)
Lightweight: Chris Wade def. Frankie Perez via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)