Local boy Chris Weidman gets another chance to redeem himself in front of a home crowd at the Nassau Coliseum, Long Island on July 22.
Chris Weidman vs Kelvin Gastelum has been announced as the headline bout for UFC on FOX 25, Long Island.
Amidst the bottle throwing, mother insults and punches thrown at the Summer Kickoff press conference, this fight may have flown under the radar.
The amicable face off between the two certainly didn’t follow the theme set by others.
Weidman had stated that he was reluctant to fight under the New York State Athletic Commission again, following his controversial loss to Gegard Mousasi at UFC 210. The prospect of fighting in front of his hometown was too much to turn down, though.
Weidman revealed that Mousasi had not signed for a rematch, so he was offered the surging Gastelum (via MMA Fighting).
“I wanted that rematch with Gegard, but apparently he didn’t sign yet, so, I was asked to fight Gastelum…It’s in my hometown, obviously, New York is a tough spot for me to fight after that last one, we’re under appeal now, but, I can’t say no (to a) main event at the Nassau Coliseum. That’s a dream come true. It’s going to be an awesome fight against a game opponent.”
Gastelum’s ban for marijuana use, following a one-sided demolition of Vitor Belfort in March, kept him out of a bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 212. He will be free to fight on July 22, however, as the suspension lasted only three months.
Weidman (13-3) could have looked for an easier opponent, in an effort to arrest his slide from the top of the division. He must be commended for taking fights against the ‘who’s who’ of the division, despite having lost his last three. Especially when you consider the amount of hand picking of opponents that has occurred in MMA of late, Weidman deserves credit.
Not many would fancy tackling Rockhold, Romero, Mousasi and Gastelum on the bounce. Gastelum (13-2-1 NC) has looked mean since moving up from welterweight, dispatching of Tim Kennedy and Vitor Belfort in impressive fashion.
Adding a name like Weidman’s to his resume, could propel him into the already crowded bunch of contenders at 185lbs.
Noel Ryan, Pundit Arena