“I knew what I was getting myself into, but I still thought I could go out there and beat him. Even with [foot and elbow injuries]. And he proved that I was wrong. He came out to fight. He was better than me that night. I know what I’m capable of. I know my potential and I know I wasn’t close to it. The fact that because of what I’ve accomplished in the past gives me the opportunity to get a rematch is a great situation to be in. In most situations, people don’t get the second chance, especially right away. So, I’m very grateful for the opportunity I have. There’s no question in my mind that I’m gonna go out there and make a statement, completely dominate him and make sure everybody knows the last fight was a fluke… I feel like he’s cocky and I gave him a bigger head and gave him something to be even more cocky about. It sucks for me. I’ve gotta suck it up. I got a chance to deflate the head. That’s the goal. I have to go back in there and feed him some humble pie.”
-Chris Weidman talks to MMAFighting.com about his December loss to Luke Rockhold, and why he thinks their UFC 199 rematch will be much different.
Penick’s Analysis: The problem with Weidman’s assessment on that first fight is that he wasn’t the only one short of 100% in the cage that night. Rockhold, despite the win and despite his dominance down the stretch, wasn’t at his best, especially in the cardio department, and fought a much more lethargic fight than we’d been used to seeing from him. Neither of them looked particularly great, so if both had issues on the injury front they were dealing with, June should bring something closer to their best. One can hope, at the least. Now, Weidman’s a supremely talented fighter, and as a former champion who defeated Anderson Silva twice and beat Lyoto Machida to defend that belt, there’s no question he’s at the top end of this field. However, Rockhold seemed to have his number in December on an off night, and even though Weidman feels he wasn’t his best, his best may not prove good enough come June 4.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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