The co-main event of UFC 210 pits former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman against top-5 ranked Gegard Mousasi. All the details are here in our Bloody Elbow primer.
The co-main event of UFC 210 in Buffalo, New York will be an all-important matchup in the middleweight division. Former champion Chris Weidman (13-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) is looking to avoid a three-fight losing streak and get himself back into title contention, but standing in his way is the resurgent Gegard Mousasi (41-6-2 MMA, 8-3 UFC), who is in terrific form. You can catch the UFC 210: Cormier vs. Johnson 2 main card exclusively on PPV at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT, with prelims available on FS1 at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and on Fight Pass at 6:15 PM ET/3:15 PM PT.
Weidman fought hard for MMA to be legalized in New York, but a win at Madison Square Garden didn’t materialize in his last bout. He will once again have the benefit of competing in his home state, and he’s not dealing with a long, injury-related layoff. There are added stakes for Mousasi, who is in the final fight of his current UFC contract. He’s #5 in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, while Weidman is #4, so the title picture will definitely be affected by what happens on Saturday night.
How do these two stack up?
Weidman: 32 years old | 6’2″ | 78″ reach
Mousasi: 31 years old | 6’2″ | 76″ reach
What have these two done recently?
Weidman: L – Yoel Romero (KO) | L – Luke Rockhold (TKO) | W – Vitor Belfort (TKO)
Mousasi: W – Uriah Hall (TKO) | W – Vitor Belfort (TKO) | W – Thiago Santos (TKO)
How did these two get here?
Weidman has gone nearly two years without a win, having last experienced victory against Vitor Belfort in May 2015. His days as UFC middleweight champion ended against Luke Rockhold at UFC 194. An immediate rematch was booked, but Weidman pulled out with a neck injury, and that led to Michael Bisping taking the title from Rockhold instead. Weidman returned at UFC 205 against Yoel Romero, who knocked him out with a flying knee early in round 3. The former All-American wrestler is still one of the best in the business, and his KO of Anderson Silva will go down as one of the most unforgettable moments in MMA history, but he enters UFC 210 in a must-win situation.
Mousasi has rebounded beautifully from the shocking knockout loss to Uriah Hall back in September 2015. His last fight was an easy one-round dispatching of Hall in their UFC Belfast rematch. The former Strikeforce and DREAM champion also stopped Vitor Belfort and Thiago Santos, as well as shut down former title challenger Thales Leites. Gegard is a technical, dangerous striker who has shown improved takedown defense and is an incredibly well-rounded fighter. This is the best Mousasi we’ve seen in the UFC, and now he can fully cement himself as belonging among the elite 185ers with a win over Weidman.
Why should you care?
This is one of the best possible fights to make at middleweight, and it is guaranteed to be a compelling watch. The storylines of Weidman’s losing streak and Mousasi’s impending free agency are extra reason to tune in.