Ex-UFC champ Chris Weidman contemplated retirement, but still has ‘more to offer’

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Many people thought Chris Weidman was done after his last fight, but the former UFC champion is back in action and believes there’s more to come from his MMA career.

This Saturday, Weidman (15-7 MMA, 11-7 UFC) returns to the octagon against Bruno Silva (23-10 MMA, 4-4 UFC) on the main card of UFC on ESPN 54, which takes place at Boardwalk Hall. The 39-year-old is still searching for his first win since suffering his nasty leg break in 2021. Weidman made a return from injury last August and was defeated by Brad Tavares in a unanimous decision.

After the loss to Tavares, Weidman considered retiring amid criticism surrounding the state of his career and his 2-7 record in his last nine fights.

“I feel motivated,” Weidman told reporters at the UFC on ESPN 54 media day on Wednesday. “During this training camp, I was very open-minded to read myself and see how I feel physically and also mentally. Are there things I still have to offer? Am I as good as I once was? Can I still evolve? And as camp evolved, I still think skillset-wise, I’m still better than ever.

“If you take one skill at a time, I don’t think there’s anyone in the UFC in any division that has the skills in the standup, wrestling and jiu-jitsu that I have. If you put it all together and average together, I think I’d be right at the top of the list. So I have to put it together and perform in the cage, but during the camp I was looking world-class.”

Weidman won and defended the UFC middleweight title from 2013 to 2015. He’s defeated many MMA greats such as Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, and Demian Maia.

Although he’s achieved plenty already, Weidman is confident that he’s not only game to fight this Saturday, but also to keep adding to his legacy beyond that.

“I’m very grateful for the career I have and everything I’ve accomplished, but that doesn’t give me complacency,” Weidman said. “I still have more to offer and more to show. I get to show it in the gym and people talk, ‘Oh my God. You’re good.’ But you have to go out there and do it under the lights and showcase that.

“I feel great, everything is amazing. The weight cut is great, the body feels amazing, better than it has in years, so let’s see what I got. I think I can surprise people. And if I can’t, we’ll take it from there. Maybe I’m not performing the way I feel I could and I’ll re-write my story from there. But as of now, I’m optimistic about the future.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 54.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie