Chris Weidman doesn’t plan to retire after UFC on ESPN 54 win: ‘I still think I have it’

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Chris Weidman is not ready to hang up the gloves.

The former UFC middleweight champion got confirmation on Saturday that he should continue his career and put retirement on the back burner – at least for now.

Weidman (16-7 MMA, 12-7 UFC) defeated Bruno Silva (23-11 MMA, 4-5 UFC) in a unanimous decision on the main card of UFC on ESPN 54, which took place at Boardwalk Hall.

The result paired with the performance was a sign for Weidman that his time is not up yet in MMA despite being a few months away from turning 40.

“I still think I have a lot of potential, and I’ve had a lot of adversity and I still think I have it,” Weidman told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC on ESPN 54 post-fight press conference. “So, until I don’t think I have it anymore, I’m here. This is fun. I still have my brains. I still got my looks. Until one of those starts going, I’m here, man. This is too much fun, and I think I was meant to do this. I’ve been doing this for a really long time.”

Weidman, 39, thinks if he would’ve lost to Silva, that it might’ve been the end of his fighting career. However, with a win at hand and having snapped a two-fight losing streak, he thinks he’s got plenty more to give.

“I’ve considered it plenty of times,” Weidman said when asked about retirement. “I think if I would’ve lost tonight, if I would’ve not gotten my hand raised, it could’ve been the last time. I had that in my mind. If I was in there and I was just, ‘I don’t have it anymore,’ I may have out the gloves down, but it didn’t happen, and I got the win, so here I am.”

Although Weidman did look good in his return fight, the result did come with some controversy.

Weidman was originally given a TKO win, but then it was announced that he had won by unanimous decision. Weidman accidentally eye poked Silva in the third round, causing him to go down. Then, Weidman followed up with more shots and the fight was over. Because of the accidental eye poke, which was the fourth for Weidman in the fight, the bout was not deemed a stoppage and instead was judged until the incident.

“I’ll never question a guy if he’s saying he got poked in the eye, but you can’t just drop every time you feel something is touching your eyeball,” Weidman said. “He poked me in the eye one time and I stood there and took it. Unless the ref is going to say something, I don’t drop. I come from a wrestling background, and it’s a similar thing, you can’t look for the referee to help you.

“Sometimes they’re going to be against you, and you always have to be ready to defend yourself at all times. He dropped again. I don’t know if he was looking for a way out, but you can’t just turn your back and fall to the ground every time your eye feels poked.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 54.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie