Chris Weidman: Dricus Du Plessis has ‘really proven to be a worthy champion’

Chris Weidman lauds UFC middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis for his recent run.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) makes his first title defense against Israel Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the UFC 305 main event Aug. 17 at RAC Arena in Perth (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

Former champion Weidman (16-7 MMA, 12-7 UFC) admits there were question marks surrounding Du Plessis at first, but credited him for becoming champion.

“Dricus Du Plessis, there was so much doubt about this guy because he’s got such an unorthodox style, and he looks tired a lot of the time, but he’s really proven to be a worthy champion,” Weidman told Cageside Press.

“The Adesanya fight coming up, I’m super excited to see that. You’ve got a way more polished striker traditionally, really athletic and just great technique, against a guy who kind of lunges forward, his chin is up in the air. So it’s going to be interesting to see how that entanglement works.”

Weidman was able to end Anderson Silva’s long title reign to become middleweight champion in 2013. He defended his belt three times before he lost it to Luke Rockhold in 2015.

In the past year, the middleweight title has changed hands multiple times – from Adesanya, to Sean Strickland, to now Du Plessis.

“It’s fun to watch,” Weidman said on his division. “It’s always exciting when you have kind of a fluid division where you don’t have just one champion up top. The belt has been changing hands a lot.”

Weidman picked up his first win since 2020 when he scored a unanimous decision win over Bruno Silva at UFC on ESPN 54. He isn’t currently booked, but still has the desire to compete.

“I’m still training and I’m looking to kick some ass here in the UFC still.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie