Chris Weidman is not surprised the UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping hasn't been calling him out.
In the run up to UFC 199, Bisping said, "When I beat Luke Rockhold, Weidman can be my first defense." However, since winning the middleweight title Bisping has cooled to the idea, suggesting that Weidman shouldn't be granted a title shot coming off a loss and proclaiming that as the champion, he now calls the shots. At Friday's UFC Fight Night 89 Q&A in Ottawa, Weidman admitted that while he is unhappy about it, he thinks Bisping is being smart as the new champion.
"I guess it's something I gotta get used to for at least little bit. It's the reality that has happened because of me, because I got injured. He should be kissing my feet right now and instead he's not saying my name. Smart move. Bisping is definitely going to try and keep that belt as long as he possibly can and he doesn't want to look at me. I understand that. Good for him. Smart."
Bisping maintains he would like his first title defense to be in Manchester and has floated potential opponents including a rematch against Dan Henderson and a superfight with the former welterweight champion and potentially returning Georges St. Pierre. In response to the rumors of St. Pierre seeking a fight with Bisping, Weidman isn't surprised that GSP would want that.
"If it's true, they see an easy fight, why not go for it and get a belt at the same time? Who wouldn't want that? I mean, poor Bisping but can you pick one guy in the top 15 that you are sure he can beat? There are definitely guys he can beat but that you would say for sure he would beat? Who is he gonna be a favorite against? Maybe a small favorite [against Henderson]," Weidman said.
While the St. Pierre fight is in the embryonic stages of rumor, the proposed bout with Dan Henderson had been gaining support from the fan base who would like to see Henderson get one more crack at a UFC title before retiring. Both Henderson and Bisping have been campaigning for the fight as well as UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Weidman says he understands the sentiment, and thinks there is a "50-50 chance" the fight would end the same way as the first, but he thinks making that fight undermines the entire meritocratic structure of the UFC.
"At the end of the day I love Henderson just like anybody else does. He's 46 years old and getting a knockout. He's probably one of my favorite fighters in the UFC, but at the end of the day he's in my weight class and I need that belt. He's ranked 13. I'm ranked No. 2. I'm the closest guy to Bisping that he hasn't just fought," Weidman said.
"You’ve got to realize if you start doing these type of things in these divisions where does it set the divisions? What’s the point of working your way up and getting ranked in the top 5? I understand what people want to see and if that’s what people want to see that’s probably what’s going to happen."
As far as what is next for Weidman, he just had surgery and still has his eyes set on a title shot, hopefully on Nov, 12 at the UFC's first show in Madison Square Garden. However, that runs counter to Bisping's desire to defend his belt in England. Weidman says that if it came down to it, he would rather fight Bisping, who he called a "pretty big douchebag," for the title in England than rematch Rockhold at Madison Square Garden.
"Bisping won't fight before November," Weidman said. "That's just the way it works. He's over in Manchester celebrating. He wants to hold that belt for as many months as possible. He's either fighting at MSG or he's gonna fight Dan Henderson or somebody else in Manchester.
"People gotta realize as a fighter you want to become a champion because you get paid way more money. So the belt is very intriguing for that reason. To win the belt from Bisping, the hardest problem for me would be to train hard for him because he stinks. I'm just kidding, he's really good...No, I'm lying.
"It would be hard not to do that New York show but at the end it comes down to money. I've got to take care of my family so if there is way more money in Manchester that's where I'll be. But if not there is nothing more I want to do than fight at MSG."