The last time a UFC title fight was supposed to headline a show inside Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, the event got cancelled. Let’s hope the octagon’s February 28th card doesn’t suffer the same fate.
On Tuesday, Vitor Belfort confirmed he will be challenging middleweight champion Chris Weidman (pictured) for his crown inside the home the Lakers built.
UFC president Dana White was none too pleased Belfort let the cat out of the bag before the promotion had the opportunity to break the news.
Speaking of cat, White also confirmed Cat Zingano will fight reigning bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey that evening.
A TRT-powered Belfort was originally slated to challenge Weidman for this crown at UFC 173, but “The Phenom” was pulled from the bout after the NSAC banished TRT. Weidman went on to successfully defend his title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175 in the meantime.
The 185-pounders were then set to headline UFC 181, but Weidman was forced to pull out of the December 6 card with a broken hand.
Belfort hasn’t been seen since knocking out Dan Henderson with a highlight reel head kick last November.
Rousey and Zingano getting added to the lineup is a bit of a surprise. Just last week, White announced they were co-headlining UFC 182. No word on why the UFC decided to delay the scrap.
Rousey owns an unblemished 10-0 professional record, with her last four being of the UFC title defense variety. She easily disposed of Alexis Davis in her last outing at UFC 175.
Zingano, meanwhile, was supposed to challenge Rousey for her throne at UFC 168, but was forced out of the matchup to undergo knee surgery. She is unbeaten through nine bouts, most recently TKO’ing Amanda Nunes last month at UFC 178.
Staples Center was scheduled to host UFC 176, which was going to showcase the rematch between featherweight king Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, but the promotion “postponed” (PR-friendly term for canceled) the event after Aldo suffered neck and shoulder injuries.
Here is UFC 184‘s current roster:
Cat Zingano vs. Ronda Rousey (UFC bantamweight champion)
Vitor Belfort vs. Chris Weidman (UFC middleweight champion)