“I think it’s fair. He was the champion, had good wins on his last fights, defeated tough opponents, and deserves respect from everyone, especially the other middleweights. He deserves this immediate rematch against Rockhold… It was an interesting fight. Luke put some pressure that Weidman wasn’t used to. We haven’t seen him fight five rounds with quality. It’s hard to talk about this fight or criticize Weidman or Rockhold. They are both great fighters. Weidman had the opportunity to prove why he was the champion, and Rockhold proved why he’s the new champion. He was better prepared and surprised Weidman. Weidman is a great fighter with good jiu-jitsu and a modest striking, but Rockhold put some pressure and won with his persistence, cardio and technique.”
Penick’s Analysis: Silva got his own rematch with Weidman despite getting knocked out decisively in the first fight, so it’s a fair take on his end to think Weidman should get the same. Now, Weidman didn’t hold that belt nearly as long, and it’s questionable given how the fight went to say that he “deserves” this rematch, but it’s a fight booking they can defend with a lack of better options. Regardless, if the same thing happens again in the rematch, Rockhold can move forward. If it doesn’t, the UFC has a trilogy on their hands.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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