Chris Weidman steps into the cage,
replacing the injured Court McGee, to fight Jesse Bongfeldt at UFC 131 on June
11th at the Rogers Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Injuries and cancellations plague the UFC
spate of injuries is wreaking havoc with the UFC. The main event for UFC 130 between Gray
Maynard and Frankie Edgar had to be scrapped and in its stead the rather ho-hum
affair between Rampage Jackson and Matt Hamill had to be elevated to main event
status. In addition to some preliminary
fights being effected at UFC 130 the injury bug has now started biting UFC
The iconic Brock Lesnar has
withdrawn from the UFC 131 main event, replaced by Shane Carwin, and now we
have yet another casualty in Court McGee who succumbed to a knee injury in
preparation for his showdown with Jesse Bongfeldt. Enter Chris Weidman who came to Dana White’s
rescue in March when he replaced an injured Rafael Natal and made the most of
his UFC debut by defeating Alessio Sakara by unanimous decision.
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
Bongfeldt (15-4-1) saw his 7 fight win streak snapped with a draw to Rafael
Natal at UFC 124. That’s what happens
when you start fighting in MMA’s premier organization. Bongfeldt had never fought in the UFC until
he found himself in the same position as Weidman, replacing an injured Jason
MacDonald, to battle Natal. Amazingly
Bongfeldt had never had a fight go to the judges’ scorecards until his UFC
debut. It was ruled a majority draw and
Bongfeldt saw his win streak come to an end.
has won 15 times in his career with six by KO and nine by submission. He has lost 4 times in his career getting
knocked out twice and submitted twice. Most of Bongfeldt’s fights don’t go beyond two rounds and up until his
last fight, none of them had made it to the judge’s table.
His pedigree is grounded in judo and
Isshin-Ryu karate but it strikes me as a bit curious that a man who has been
training since he was young, has not attained a black belt in either
discipline. Nevertheless, his lack of rank
has not precluded him from dispatching his opponents with lethal
precision. He has a penchant for
subduing his opponents via rear naked choke and possesses knockout power if
given the opportunity.
Weidman (5-0) is a rising star on the UFC horizon. He has been ranked as the number one MMA
prospect by a variety of panels and astonished the grappling world by
qualifying and competing in the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship,
with only a year of formal Jiu-Jitsu training under his belt, and bowing in the
finals to world class Jiu-Jitsu master Andre Galvao by a razor thin margin.
is a former Division 1 All-American wrestler and his amateur resume is
impressive to say the least. He was the
Grappler’s Quest champion with all 13 of his matches ended by submission while
also being crowned the 2009 United States BJJ champion.
He then went on to train under former UFC
Welterweight champion Matt Serra and captured the Ring of Combat Middleweight
title in only his third professional match. In his last fight, he was summoned
as a replacement to debut in the UFC on only two weeks’ notice and defeated the
well traveled UFC veteran Alessio Sakara by decision.
This will be an interesting match as Bongfeldt
is an all or nothing cage fighter with 8 years experience under his belt while
Weidman is five years his junior and at the age of 26, is just coming into his
own. Of his 5 fights, two have come by
KO, one by submission and two by decision.
Weidman, with a two inch height advantage will have to stay away from
the thunderous hands of Bongfeldt but if he can take the fight to the floor, he
will dominate despite Bongfeldt’s impressive submission game. I believe Weidman has too much athleticism
and is fundamentally sounder than Bongfeldt therefore I will take Weidman by submission.
Bodog has already released their UFC odds for 132, and Weidman is listed as a -500 favorite here. Betting options also include a -200 pick that the fight will not go further than 2 rounds.
My Pick: Weidman by submission