Former UFC middleweight champion ‘The All-American’ Chris Weidman was the front runner to get a title shot alongwith a surging Kelvin Gastelum and even champion Whittaker liked the idea to do so.
Eventually former TUF winner Kelvin Gastelum got the nod of the UFC. He alongwith Whittaker, also a former TUF winner, will coach the next season of the show and will fight for the title thereafter.
Speaking on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show on ESPN, Weidman revealed the reason UFC told him with respect to his title shot.
“They were saying they couldn’t depend on me with my hand. They were worried about my hand not being ready in time,” Weidman said (transcribed MMA Mania). “They were initially saying they were going to (have me) fight at the end of the year show, and I was telling them I’d definitely be ready. And they said they couldn’t really justify putting money into the Ultimate Fighter show with the chance of me not being able to fight.”
Weidman however does not find this reason logical enough for not granting him a title shot.
“It kind of pisses me off because there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong with any fighter, so for them to put me in that predicament pisses me off a little, but what are you going to do?” Weidman said. “I mean you got Gastelum who hasn’t made weight, Yoel Romero hasn’t made weight and Whittaker has been injured, too.”