Former UFC middleweight Chris Weidman looks to stop the first losing streak of his career when he faces the surging Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210 on April 8th.
Weidman vs Mousasi is a fight between fighters going opposite ways. Mousasi is on his best winning run ever, while Weidman is trying to snap out of a skid.
Chris Weidman was one of the hottest fighters when he came off back to back wins over the legendary Anderson Silva. But after going 13-0, it has been downhill for the New Yorker. Not only did he lose his middleweight title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194, he lost his comeback fight against Yoel Romero at the monumental UFC 205 in New York.
With back to back losses, Weidman cannot afford another setback. But things haven’t gotten easier as he will face a fighter who is experiencing his best run in his UFC career. Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi has won six of his last seven fights and his last three by knockout. Mousasi’s winning streak has put him him in the Top 5 of the UFC middleweight rankings for the first time ever. A victory over the 4th ranked Weidman will surely generate talks of a title shot against the winner of Bisping vs St. Pierre.
Weidman is currently at even money ( +100 ) while Mousasi is slightly favored at -125. The concern with Weidman right not is that he’s lost back to back fights by knockout and Gegard Mousasi has the same (if not more) power than Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero.
Like Weidman’s last two conquerors, Mousasi is an excellent striker who averages 3.68 significant strikes landed per minute. He’s also precise with his strikes at 50% accuracy. If this fight stays on the feet, Mousasi will have the big advantage over Weidman. But that’s not the end of our story. Mousasi’s takedown defense is good, but not great. And against an All-American wrestler like Weidman, that could spell trouble.
Weidman averages 3.33 takedowns per 15 minutes. That’s more than the average of the last 7 opponents of Mousasi, during which he’s been 6-1. The last time Mousasi faced someone with a better average was in 2014 against Jacare Souza. During that bout, Mousasi was taken to the ground four times and was submitted by the Brazilian grappler in the third round.
Weidman may not have the submission skills of Souza but his wrestling and grappling are just as dominating. If Weidman forces Mousasi to the mat, it’s going to be trouble for the Dream Catcher. This fight can go either way but given this will be in Weidman’s hometown in New York and Weidman is more desperate for a victory, we’re going with Chris Weidman here.
Sure, it’s not going to be necessarily dominant. But this will be ugly and grinding. Weidman’s going to take Mousasi to the ground and win it whichever way he can. We’re picking Chris Weidman to win by decision or ground and pound stoppage.