Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman beat Omari Akhmedov via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28) in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Weidman largely used his wrestling game to get past Akhmedov and earn his first victory since July 2017. "The All-American" took his opponent down multiple times in the first round, getting into half guard and landing a few elbows.
Akhmedov appeared to turn things around in the second frame, landing some decent shots to Weidman's head and body. The Russian swung wildly, looking for the knockout, but he never connected flush. Akhmedov did mix it up by taking Weidman down himself midway through the contest. Both fighters were visibly tired heading into the third round.
Weidman saved his best work for the final frame. He immediately got Akhmedov to the ground and established a dominant position. Weidman did a great job of holding Akhmedov down and not allowing him to return to his feet, where Akhmedov seemed to have the best shot of upsetting the ex-titleholder. Weidman attempted a submission, but Akhmedov defended.
It was a grueling battle, but Weidman did enough in the first and third rounds to get the nod from the judges and end his two-fight skid; he hadn't picked up a win since he submitted Kelvin Gastelum more than three years ago. Weidman held the 185-pound title from July 2013 to December 2015, and he's 2-4 since losing the belt to Luke Rockhold.
Akhmedov, meanwhile, saw his six-fight unbeaten streak come to an end. This was the 32-year-old's first defeat since 2016.