Why Is Chris Weidman Not UFC’s Biggest Star?

12.09.15 2 years ago
Chris Weidman featured

USA TODAY Sports

The undefeated, undisputed UFC Middleweight Champion, Chris Weidman, will defend his title and his perfect record against No. 1 contender Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 on Saturday, December 12, live on pay-per-view. You knew there was a big event coming up, but you had no idea about the Weidman part, did you?

That’s because the big draw here is the main-event featherweight bout between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. A great way to give this pay-per-view a little more boost is to add another title fight, so… Eh, we’ll just throw in Weidman. UFC has done that a few times, actually. If fact, that’s all they’ve done with Weidman as champion.

Well, to say that Weidman hasn’t headlined any pay-per-views as champion isn’t exactly accurate. He was at the top of the card for both UFC 168 and UFC 175. Both times, however, Ronda Rousey was also on the card. Could that be because UFC didn’t believe Weidman was a big enough draw by himself? For his next two fights, Weidman was and will be actually playing second fiddle to other title fights. It’s likely that UFC’s positioning of him has conditioned fans to think, Weidman? Meh.

When you break it down that Chris Weidman is the man who knocked Anderson Silva, who many believe to be the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all-time, off his throne with the most spectacular knockout punch in UFC history, then beat him again, then beat Lyoto Machida in a Fight of the Night, then decimated Vitor Belfort, all while remaining undefeated and scandal-free, you’d think he’d be tailor-made for UFC superstardom. (Honestly, just cleaning Anderson Silva’s clock the way he did should be enough.) You have to try pretty hard to not make this guy a star, and that seems to be exactly what UFC is doing.

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