Chris Weidman has insisted that Luke Rockhold’s title win at UFC 194 in December was a “fluke” and has vowed to prove it when they meet again at UFC 199 on June 4.
Rockhold was crowned the new middleweight champion on December 12 after knocking out Weidman in the fourth round of their bout.
However, Weidman knows that he is capable of beating Rockhold and has made it clear that he is determined to get his title back in Los Angeles in three months’ time.
“I know what I’m capable of,” Weidman told MMA Fighting. “I know my potential and I know I wasn’t close to it. The fact that because of what I’ve accomplished in the past gives me the opportunity to get a rematch is a great situation to be in.
“In most situations, people don’t get the second chance, especially right away. So, I’m very grateful for the opportunity I have. There’s no question in my mind that I’m gonna go out there and make a statement, completely dominate him and make sure everybody knows the last fight was a fluke.”
Weidman has said that he fought Rockhold with a broken foot at UFC 194, but despite the injury, the former champion admitted that Rockhold was the better fighter that night.
“I knew what I was getting myself into, but I still thought I could go out there and beat him,” Weidman said. “Even with that stuff. And he proved that I was wrong. He came out to fight. He was better than me that night.”
Even though his foot was broken in two places, Weidman decided to proceed with his fight against Rockhold as he had won fights with serious injuries in the past.
In March 2011, Weidman fought Alessio Sakara with a broken rib at UFC on Versus 3 and won via unanimous decision. Three years later, Weidman faced Lyoto Machida with a broken hand, but managed to retain his middleweight title following a unanimous decision win.
“I’ve taken situations like that and gotten through it and gotten Ws,” Weidman said. “I thought it was gonna be another day like that and I was wrong.”
Now that Weidman is injury-free, he is aiming to avenge his loss to Rockhold as the 31-year-old ended his two-year reign as middleweight champion.
“I feel like he’s cocky and I gave him a bigger head and gave him something to be even more cocky about,” Weidman said. “It sucks for me. I’ve gotta suck it up. I got a chance to deflate the head. That’s the goal. I have to go back in there and feed him some humble pie.”