Weidman Considering Retirement from MMA

January 12, 2024
4 months

At one time, Chris Weidman had the MMA world at his feet. His two consecutive victories against Anderson Silva secured his status as a ratified great in UFC history. Ten years on, he’s not the same fighter. With seven losses from his last nine bouts, he’s already considering stepping away from MMA.

Struggling with Right Leg

UFC 292 was supposed to be Chris Weidman’s big return. After more than two years out of the cage, he took on Brad Tavares. Losing the fight was just the tip of the iceberg. In the fight, he suffered a severely broken leg. This has led to multiple complex surgeries to repair the damage to his right leg. While he says he’s still feeling well himself, he admits that his body has taken a battering and that he might not be able to continue fighting.

Make or Break Against Silva

While it’s not announced yet, there is a belief on the MMA news sites that Chris Weidman will fight Bruno Silva at UFC Fight Night 241 at the back end of March 2024. This fight would be the epitome of make or break, with both careers hanging on the line. Weidman is 2-7 from his last nine fights, which is seldom a record that gets fight fans excited. Even if his injuries don’t keep him out of the sport, another loss would make it very difficult for him to have a fight of substance in the UFC ever again.

If he wins, he will be relevant again momentarily within MMA’s new website coverage, but at this juncture, is there any way back for him? His crowning achievement was a decade ago now, and contemporary fight fans just see him as the guy who loses a lot of fights. While he might want this fight, he doesn’t need to keep doing this anymore.

Bruno Silva also has a lot on the line. He’s also coming in off a very poor recent record, having lost four of his last five bouts. If either are to even dream of middleweight silverware again, a win here is imperative for both combatants.

Is There a Future Outside of the UFC?

It’s always hard for a UFC fighter to leave the promotion and simply hang up their gloves. The drop-off from being on the biggest fight stage to not competing can be too much of a transition. Having gotten used to the fame and fortune, some seek to extend their MMA careers by fighting elsewhere.

At the age of 39, Chris Weidman still has time to compete, granted not too much of it. Yet, he’s still a big draw for promotions, which is why the UFC has kept him around for so long. After all, he handed Anderson Silva his first and second career losses, both by stoppage, to win and retain the UFC middleweight championship. Yet that was ten years ago, and Dana White only has so much patience.

Yet, he could easily still sell tickets, and PPV buys for other promotions. The bare-knuckle world is a very credible path for those looking to extend their career with the BKFC, making waves in the combat world. Possibly, he wants to continue fighting in the MMA ranks, but if he wishes to rise to the top of a division again, he would need to fight somewhere other than the UFC. ONE Championship is a promotion with a growing stature that could attract him. It appears to be a business strategy of the company to sign up veteran fighters with a decent past.

He could stay with the UFC but just outside the cage. Dana White usually has good relationships with his most loyal fighters. Weidman made a lot of money back in the 2010s, so there’s no reason why Weidman couldn’t get a chance to work on the media side or in another non-competitive role like trainer, etc.

Retire and Restore Career Glory

The dream scenario from this point is that Chris Weidman gets a victory against Bruno Silva and then retires on a high note. He can hold his head up high and have the UFC reiterate his achievements. After all, back in his prime, he was an elite-level fighter. He beat Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and Vitor Belfort during his middleweight championship reign, notably during his nine-match winning streak in the division. He’s still the record holder for the highest number of takedowns in the UFC middleweight division, too. All of this can be celebrated again if he can end on a high. Or just bow out on his terms.

If he keeps losing and is forced to retire due to injury or ends up with an even poorer record, then it’s harder to present his career with prestige as it keeps collecting asterisks. MMA is an unforgiving world where many only look at your last fight, making it hard for legends to exit the game with grandeur.

Future Back on TV?

Those who like to watch CBS might be able to recall a sitcom called Kevin Can Wait. Well, Chris Weidman played an acting role in this comedy TV show, a man called Nick Dawson. Seriously, this wasn’t a cameo where he played himself. He had lines to learn! If he doesn’t feel like getting punched for a living, might he be able to secure a deal with a new TV show? There will be very dedicated UFC fans who tune in to watch him, even if he’s acting!

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