Following in the footsteps of former rival Luke Rockhold, former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is set to move up a weight division. UFC announced on Tuesday that Weidman will make his light heavyweight debut on Friday, Oct. 18, when he takes on undefeated 205-pound contender Dominick Reyes in the main event of the UFC Boston event.
Weidman (14-4), much like Rockhold, will be on a mission to revitalize his career within a new home at light heavyweight. Dating back to his middleweight title loss to Rockhold at UFC 194 in December 2015, Weidman has dropped four of his last five outings in the Octagon — all of which have come either via KO or TKO. The lone victory in that stretch came over recent UFC middleweight No. 1 contender Kelvin Gastelum via third-round submission in July 2017.
Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to my podcast — State of Combat with Brian Campbell — where I break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
Reyes (11-0), the No. 4-ranked light heavyweight contender, presents an interesting opposition for the former 185-pound champion, to say the least. He’s gone 6-0 since making his UFC debut in 2017, and has quickly become a fan-favorite as a potential 205-pound title challenger to Jon Jones sooner rather than later. Reyes’ most recent victory came over former light heavyweight title challenger Volkan Oezdemir in London back in March by way of split decision.
Rockhold’s light heavyweight debut earlier this month went south quick as he was eviscerated in the second round by Jan Blachowicz. Presumably, UFC was in search of a big-name challenger in Rockhold to step up to potentially the greatest fighter of all time in Jones. Now, Weidman will get his crack at possibly filling that slot. But if Reyes should spoil the debut of Weidman at 205 pounds in Boston, then it will become increasingly more difficult to deny him for much longer.