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Ex-wrestlers Winn, Weidman suffer losses at UFC on ESPN 6

Former top-flight amateur wrestlers Deron Winn and Chris Weidman came out on the losing end of their bouts at UFC on ESPN 6 at Boston's TD Garden Friday night.

Winn, 30, a two-time NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) wrestling champ for St. Louis Community College, Meramec, suffered his first loss in his young mixed martial arts career with a split decision awarded to Darren Stewart in a catchweight bout (Winn weighed in 2.5 pounds over the 185-pound middleweight limit) ... while the 35-year-old Weidman, who earned All-American honors at Nassau Community College twice, then twice again at nearby Hofstra University was the victim of a first-round KO at the hands of Dominick Reyes in a light-heavyweight (205-pound) fight.

Winn's first MMA loss ...

Here's how MMAfighting.com opened its coverage of the Deron vs. Darren three-round catchweight bout: https://www.mmafighting.com/2019/10/18/20921773/ufc-on-espn-6-results-darren-stewart-hands-deron-winn-his-first-loss-in-razor-close-split-decision

Deron Winn
"Darren Stewart has knocked Deron Winn from the ranks of unbeaten fighters.

"The British slugger used his boxing to hurt the highly touted prospect in several exchanges on the feet, while constantly making the wrestler work very hard during every second they spent on the ground. Ultimately, two judges sided with the damage done by Stewart with scores of 29-28 with the third official going for Winn with an identical 29-28 so the fight ended in a split decision ..."

"After three hard-fought rounds, the judges didn't have an easy job deciding the victor, which was reflected in the scorecards but Stewart did enough to secure the win ..."

After the bout, the Stewart said, "I feel great. Big up Deron, he's a warrior."

The 30-year-old Stewart -- nicknamed "The Dentist" -- is now 11-4 overall ... while Winn drops to 6-1 in his pro MMA career launched in March 2017, and is now 1-1 in UFC, having signed with that promotion at Christmastime 2018.

Dayne Fox of BloodyElbow.com served up this assessment of Deron Winn's first pro MMA loss: "I expected Winn to hit a ceiling sooner rather than later given the limitations his mini-frame presents [the former collegiate mat star stands 5'7"], but this was even sooner than I expected. Though Winn did get his wrestling going this time around -- something he didn't do in his UFC debut -- Winn didn't do much with the takedowns once he got them. Winn gassed pretty hard and the judges preferred Stewart's offense on the feet to Winn's mat control."

... while Weidman suffers loss in light-heavyweight debut

Chris Weidman -- a New York high school state wrestling champ who later won an MMA title -- tallied his fifth loss in six fights at UFC Boston Friday night. (By contrast, the Long Island native had launched his pro MMA career a decade ago with a 13-bout win streak.)

"Dominick Reyes made quick work of Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC Boston, knocking out the former middleweight champion in the first round," according to BloodyElbow.com.

"Weidman begun their fight by shooting in on a double-leg takedown and backing Reyes up against the fence. Briefly taking him to the ground for a moment, Reyes worked well getting back to his feet as Weidman continued to try and get the fight to the mat.

"As Weidman backed Reyes up, he was caught by a big left hand that dropped him, Reyes then passed Weidman's guard and followed up with a clubbing right hand and some follow up punches that were enough for referee Herb Dean to stop the fight."

BloodyElbow.com offered this assessment of the Reyes-Weidman bout: "It's a disappointing start for Weidman in his debut at light heavyweight, however he was taking a top contender in the undefeated Reyes. Perhaps this fight was too big of a jump for Weidman, and he should fight someone outside the top-ten at 205-pounds next."

After the loss, Weidman said he was still confident that his move up to light-heavyweight would pay off in the future. However, UFC president Dana White had another view of things.

"What he said tonight didn't sound to me like he is considering retirement," White told reporters at the post-event news conference. "So it's a conversation he and I definitely need to have. This was his move up to light heavyweight, which obviously didn't go well for him. So maybe he goes back down to middleweight or he thinks about maybe retiring."

BloodyElbow's Dayne Fox concurred with White's assessment, and then some.

"I like Weidman. He's a family man. He's funny. He's charismatic. But he's also delusional if he wants to say he can continue to fight at a high level and he did say in his post-fight interview that he would be back. Much like Chuck Liddell at the end of his career, I have no interest in seeing Weidman continue to fight. Hopefully, Dana White is willing to have that conversation with him."

Weidman is now 14-5 in his MMA career going back to 2009 ... while Dominick Reyes improves to 6-0 in UFC, and 12-0 overall.

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