Weidman kept Gastelum on the outside with the use of front kicks to the body and a significant reach advantage. He mixed up his attack between striking and takedown attempts. Weidman controlled the first round until the final seconds of the frame. Gastelum stepped in with a straight left hand that sent Weidman crashing to the canvas. Before Gastelum could inflict more damage, the round ended.
In the second frame, Gastelum pressured Weidman. Before long, he found himself in the clutches of the former champion. Weidman grounded Gastelum and controlled the remainder of the round.
In the third frame, both fighters came out throwing heavy leather. Gastelum was clipped with a right hand and briefly knocked to the ground. He quickly got back to his feet and Weidman kept the pressure on with strikes. Weidman clinched and eventually put Gastelum on the canvas. That’s where the fight would end.
Gastelum tried to scramble back to his feet and Weidman worked to take his back. During a transition, Weidman sunk in an arm-triangle choke and tightened it down. Gastelum had no choice but to tap out. The end came at the 3:45 mark of the third round.
“If you’re going through something, believe in yourself. Screw what people’s opinions are,” he said following the win. He then turned his attention to 185-pound champion Michael Bisping.
“That British bum crying in his house right now, I’m back baby! I’m back! What’s up,” said Weidman. “I’m the champ and everybody knows it.”
The win was the first for Weidman since 2015, and his first submission victory since 2011.