Yesterday saw the unfortunate news that Chris Weidman would not be competing in the scheduled UFC 199 middleweight title fight. The former middleweight champion was to receive his rematch for the title against new champion, Luke Rockhold, in the UFC 199 main event in two weeks. However, due to injury Weidman has been forced to withdraw from his bid to regain middleweight gold.
Weidman has previously said that he was not one hundred percent in the first encounter leading to him losing the title. The former champion had built up some serious fan support going into this second bout and looked to have made some considerable progress. This makes it even more heartbreaking that the all-American has been forced to withdraw from the middleweight title match at UFC 199.
However, things get even more interesting for the middleweight division as the news broke this week that Michael Bisping would be stepping in. On just over two weeks notice ‘The Count’ is finally getting his title shot. This is a fascinating narrative, Bisping and Rockhold have faced each other once before and safe to say it has not depleted their hatred for each other. Their first fight ended by submission when Rockhold guillotined Bisping after almost getting the TKO. The two shared a moment after the fight but it seems there is still no love lost.
The opponent have recommenced throwing insults and trash talk at each other in the media. The two fighters had a fiery verbal exchange on UFC Tonight. In his opening statement Bisping actually took a shot at Weidman. That is what is so interesting about this situation, this match is exciting in itself but it also sets up a couple of fights. This fight could lead to Bisping vs Weidman if ‘The Count’ finally snatches the belt, that would be a fun showdown for sure. It must be said though that on two weeks notice he has a tall order in front of him. It could also lead to a Weidman/Rockhold rematch down the road or even a third fight for Bisping and Rockhold. That is, a third televised fight, before their first battle the two of them had met before in sparring. Bisping of course frequently bring up that he got the best of the current middleweight champion in that sparring session. Whatever happens at UFC 199 on June 4th it is fair to say that it is a great time to be a fight fan.