The who and what have been known since reigning UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (pictured) defeated Anderson Silva at UFC 168, but the when and where weren’t made official until Saturday.
UFC officials confirmed today that Weidman will defend his throne against Vitor Belfort at UFC 173 on May 24. MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts the festivities.
Belfort has been aggressively campaigning for a title shot all the livelong day. “The Phenom” has posted three straight wins via knockout, with his most recent coming in a light heavyweight affair against Dan Henderson.
His last trio of bouts have taken place in his homeland of Brazil – whether his use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) has anything to do with that can be debated.
Weidman owns a perfect 11-0 record and is the only man alive who can stake claim to posting two wins over former middleweight king Anderson Silva, who is regarded by most as MMA’s GOAT. “All-American” was hoping to fight Belfort in May instead of July so he could have a “real” summer with his family.
The spotlight now shifts towards the Nevada State Athletic Commission and whether they will grant Belfort a therapeutic-use exemption for TRT. The 36-year-old tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone in the state in October 2006.