Weidman doesn’t think Zhang should use his injury as an excuse
UFC middleweight Chris Weidman has suggested that women’s strawweight Zhang Weili shouldn’t use her injury as an excuse for losing at UFC 261.
During the April pay-per-view, Zhang ended her 21-game winning streak against Rose Namajunas in the main co-event. After dethroning Jéssica Andrade in her home country of China in 2019, “Magnum” successfully defended her 115-pound gold against former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk in a fight of the year last March.
But against “Thug Rose,” Zhang couldn’t get out of the first round, falling by knockout after just over a minute inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
Although she appears to have come to terms with her first loss since 2013 and the first defeat in her UFC record, Zhang recently suggested that Chris Weidman’s leg injury, which came two fights before she made it to the UK. ‘Octagon, made him lose focus on the night.
After just 17 seconds of his main card fight against Uriah Hall, Weidman broke his leg after the fight’s first strike tied to a hard hit from “Prime Time”. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, the former UFC middleweight champion opened up about the incident and said it must have been traumatic for those in attendance.
“Yeah, I gave him the wrong juju …” Weidman joked. “Yeah, I mean listen, it was such a super traumatic moment for me and I think everyone who’s probably watched it, the people in the stands and all…”
But while he admits the injury would have been hard for everyone to see, Weidman went on to suggest his misfortune shouldn’t be used as an excuse for Zhang’s loss to Namajunas.
“We weren’t even sweating yet. There was no adrenaline. I was cool. It was the first strike of the fight, full of force, all I have. And it was traumatic, I think, for everyone to see that happen. So listen, I think that would probably bother anyone a bit, but that being said, you don’t want to make excuses like that. I am friends with Rose. I love Rose. I’m sure she was upset when she saw me do this, but right now you need to get back in your head and be ready for your own fight.
Although he appears to have been on a fast track to recovery, which had previously seen Weidman participate in light workouts, the 37-year-old recently came back under the knife for a second surgery.
While he hopes to recover enough to compete in the UFC again, Zhang will be bracing for a likely championship rematch with Namajunas. Despite the recent form of inaugural strawweight queen Carla Esparza, it looks like the UFC will favor an immediate rematch between the current champion and “Magnum.”
Do you think Chris Weidman’s broken leg played a role in Zhang Weili’s loss to Rose Namajunas?