How do you think Gegard Mousasi vs. Chris Weidman will go? Early TKO, late tapout, judge’s call? Who wins and how? What does a win and a loss for either of them mean in terms of what fight comes next for them?
BRYAN KERN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
This fight is the make-or-break fight for Chris Weidman (13-2). I’ve been preaching this; if he loses, his title hunting days are over. Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2) has never won a big name fight, so a loss here doesn’t hurt his name much. Does it keep his name out of the title hunt? Absolutely. Does a win move him into title contention? It definitely moves him close. He sure as hell isn’t leap frogging Yoel Romero or the winner of Jacare Souza (24-4-1) vs. Robert Whitaker(17-4). Not to mention he is a tough sell. Don’t worry though, I see Chris Weidman taking this fight to the score cards for a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
ROBERT VALLEJOS, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I have Mousasi getting a second round TKO victory after a flurry of punches.
A win for Mousasi puts him at the forefront of the mythical Middleweight Division. At this point, a fight with Yoel Romero would be just as good as a title shot against Michael Bisping. I get the impression that the next Romero fight will be for an interim title. A loss, on the other hand, will really set him back. Even though he is on a fantastic winning streak, the logjam at the top of the division makes this fight very important for Mousasi.
A win for Weidman would be a sigh of relief for everyone who follows his career. It’s hard to say if Weidman is in decline or just been unlucky in his last two fights. A weird specter is hanging over his career. I’m not sure a win puts him back into contention, but it definitely puts a pin in his career spiral. A loss would place him on the “Fight Night circuit.” While it might feel like a swift decline, fighting lower-level competition could help rehab his career.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I really like this co-main event we have here between Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman. Mousasi has been performing exceptionally as of late and, even though Weidman is on a two fight skid, he’s still one of the hardest fights for anyone to take. He was arguably winning the Romero fight until he ducked into a perfectly timed knee. Both guys are insanely tough and frequent finishers as well.
In this case, I’m going to have to side with Mousasi mainly for two reasons. One, he’s got the momentum in his favor right now. And two, his experience is insane. If you go back and look at whom he’s fought, it’s a laundry list of who’s who in the heavyweight, light-heavyweight, and middleweight divisions. His wealth of time in the trenches over the years will be what carries him to a hard fought decision victory.
MICHAEL HISCOE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I like Chris Weidman to get back in the win column at UFC 210. He was knocked out badly by Yoel Romero at UFC 205 but he was in the fight up until that point. He’s going to be motivated to bounce back and I think he can outwrestle Mousasi to a decision or ground and pound TKO win. A win for either Weidman or Mousasi may result in a date with Luke Rockhold. Rockhold has been out with an injury, but should be ready to return by summer.
Weidman-Rockhold is a good rematch as it was a close fight until Weidman went for that ill-fated spin kick and took a pounding from Rockhold from that point on. Mousasi vs. Rockhold is a fresh matchup that would bring the winner very close to title contention, although there is a logjam at the top of the middleweight division right now. A loss for Weidman would be devastating as that would be three in a row against three of the very best middleweights. If Weidman loses, he should hope that California’s proposed weight-class changes pass and a 195-pound division opens up as he will be well out of the title picture if he loses this Saturday. A Mousasi loss would be less devastating but put him in a similar position where he would be well distanced from a title shot.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): What fight are you most hoping gets booked in 2017 that hasn’t been announced yet? List any runners up, too