MMA newcomer and Serra/Longo student Chris Weidman picked up his sixth win in only six pros fights, this past weekend at UFC 131. Running his finish rate up to over 66%, the 26 year-old took out Jesse Bongfeldt with a nasty choke in the first round of their fight on Saturday night. That’s impressive for any young gun in the sport, but particularly for a wrestler who’s still learning BJJ and striking from the ground-up.
When you take a guy with natural talent and a strong work ethic like Weidman, pairing him up with great coaches like Matt Serra and Ray Longo obviously produce winning results. The other side of the coin is that sometime these hot prospects run into stiff competition on a contendership level far before they’re ready for such leaps, and careers can suffer significant damage due to poor pace management (see: Jake Rosholt). That being said, there’s a bevy of well-suited opponents for the younger, undefeated blue-chippers in an organization as large as the UFC. This begs the question, who’s right for Weidman? Enter, Tim Boetsch.
This former light-heavyweight has enjoyed new life in the UFC during his second stint with the organization, after dropping to 185 lbs. With a dominant win over Kendall Grove in his last outing, “The Barbarian” has momentum and a skill-set that presents a challenge on the right level for Weidman. Such a bout would obviously be a well-timed obstacle for Boetsch at this point, too.
Two strong middleweights with wrestling bases, growing ground games, and knockout power would be a step in the right direction for one another, and the fans.