While much of the attention at the UFC 292 pay-per-view was on a pair of championship fights at the top of the lineup, one of the most notable undercard moments was the return of Chris Weidman.
The former middleweight champion made the walk again over two years on from suffering a devastating leg break just 17 seconds into his fight with Uriah Hall at UFC 261.
Multiple surgeries and setbacks later, Weidman returned to full fitness and vowed to make his comeback. And more than just a symbolic return to action, “The All-American” expressed a belief that he could challenge for the title again.
That pursuit, however, was immediately stalled at the hands of Tavares in Boston, with the Hawaiian frequently attacking Weidman’s legs and withstanding takedown attempts en route to a comfortable unanimous decision victory at UFC 292.
In the aftermath, one of the ex-champ’s teammates has suggested that a lack of in-depth preparation may have played a part in the defeat.
Dvalishvili Admits ‘Shock’ At Weidman’s Pre-Fight Admission
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, UFC bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili gave his take on his fellow Serra-Longo Fight Team standout’s performance inside the TD Garden.
The Georgian fighter expressed disappointment at seeing Weidman fall to defeat, with “The Machine” believing that his teammate could have done more in terms of tape study to prepare for Tavares’ offensive and defensive skills.
“I was very heartbroken. Chris is my brother and teammate. He’s really somebody I look up to,” Dvalishvili said. “I also know Tavares. Tavares is also a good guy. I’ve been seeing him here in Vegas a lot of times and we’re kind of friendly. I feel heartbroken to see two good guys fight each other, and somebody was getting hurt, injured… I think he (Weidman) must come back.
“He was talking at the dinner we had before the fight, after the weigh-ins. Chris was (saying) he wasn’t watching his opponent’s fights before,” Dvalishvili continued. “And he didn’t know that Tavares was kicking. That was a little bit of a shock for me because of Chris coming from this leg injury. And he wasn’t watching if his opponent was kicking or (his style). It’s a little bit, not a good decision, you know? Chris was trying to take Tavares down but I find out now that Tavares has the best takedown defense… and he kicks a lot. Chris must know that (before the fight).”
It appears that Weidman will have the chance to right those wrongs down the line, with “The All-American” seemingly set to ignore UFC President Dana White’s retirement plea post-UFC 292.
It's been too long 🙌 #UFC292 pic.twitter.com/RLGSDgigiq
— UFC (@ufc) August 20, 2023
Read Also: Chris Weidman Stays Respectful After Failed Comeback Against Brad Tavares At UFC 292
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