I keep seeing people talk about Weidman's decline and blaming it on USADA or his chin being gone. I'm not saying either of those things aren't playing a factor, but that's not the reason he's fallen off a cliff in terms of technical ability. It's the injuries. He said during his last interview with Ariel that he's had 22 or 23 surgeries. Let that sink in. We've seen fighters' careers go to shit after one bad injury, or some chronic issue that plagues them. Weidman has been dealing with all sorts of problems since before he ever even made it to the UFC and it has only gotten worse since then. His thumb, neck, knees, etc. Any one of these issues could've been career altering, let alone all of them together. I timestamped it at when the injury talk starts, but he mentions the surgery number at 9:05. The guy's physical prime was over before most of us even knew who he was. His knees are so bad that it's shocking he's been able to fight at all, let alone against the best in the world. If you go back to when he was competing at ADCC as a purple belt, you can see that the dude was a phenom grappler. That's his strength and what got him to the top, it's what set up his KO of Anderson. He took guys down, had the reach to land GnP from crazy distances and then would finish with his world class chokes. It's very clear that he's not physically able to grapple that way anymore so he's had to reinvent himself as a striker who sometimes tries to mix it up with the wrestling a bit, which clearly hasn't been as effective for him. His takedowns are nowhere near as dominant because he just isn't as physically imposing. It would be impossible for that not to be the case. A lot of people still hate him because he was better than Anderson even while seriously diminished, so they want to act like his drop off has all been because of USADA (ironic because Anderson is the one who's a proven steroid user). No one takes into account that he's had more surgeries than anyone else at the elite level in MMA. Neither fight was a fluke, he just isn't the same guy anymore. People talk about Cain like he's the best example of unrealized potential but Weidman has dealt with way more injuries and they've been just as severe as anything he had to deal with. It's a shame to see how his career has played out, but that's the fight game.