According to a report from ESPN's Brett Okamoto, UFC CEO and owner Lorenzo Fertitta has confirmed plans to next pit middleweight champion Chris Weidman against Vitor Belfort in Las Vegas, Nevada in May or July 2014, depending on Weidman's health.
Weidman, of course, most recently defended his title to former champion Anderson Silva Dec. 28 at UFC 168, scoring a technical knockout just 1:16 into the second round, seemingly uninjured. However, Weidman hinted post-fight that he struggled with a possible meniscus tear throughout training camp, possibly requiring surgery. He also mentioned the probable need for a scope to clear out floating bodies of cartilage in the same knee.
We learned earlier this week that the UFC was interested in hosting the bout in Las Vegas when the promotion reportedly informally let the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) know. A bit of finesse in what could be a tricky situation should the NSAC hold to their policy of not allowing a therapeutic-use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) if that individual's needs derive from past non-sanctioned use. Belfort, who has competed with a TUE since 2011, tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone, an illegal substance, following his 2006 bout with Dan Henderson at PRIDE 32 held in Nevada. Although he claimed he would halt TRT for a title shot, Belfort indicated he'd be disenfranchised without the exemption. "I've already said that, if they agree with it, I would (stop doing TRT)," said Belfort in October. "No problem at all. If they want me to get there in a disadvantage, that's ok."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Middleweight rankings. With UFC 168 behind us, it's time to overhaul the middleweight division's standings.
'I'll never be whole.' Corey Hill gives great personal insight into Anderson Silva's battle back from injury through his own experience.
Asian expansion. Managing Director for UFC Asia Mark Fischer reveals that the UFC targets five to seven events in Asia in 2014.
UFC Singapore weigh-ins.
Anderson Silva's orthopedic surgeon explains his procedure.
And looking better.
Quick profile on Mairbek Taisumov before he makes his UFC debut this weekend.
Cage Warriors 63 recap.
Tarec Saffiedine's UFC Singapore training vlog.
This is the last one. I promise.
Thanks man I will "@BrunoMars: Wishing Anderson Silva a speedy recovery"— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) January 2, 2014
Get well soon.
I want to say thank you to all my fans and friends to support me at this moment,I wish a great and happy 2014 to all pic.twitter.com/nzhmvoNSca— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) January 2, 2014
First time I've ever had to pull out of a fight for any reason. Won't be making a habit of it.— Marcelino Evil (@KCBanditMMA) January 2, 2014
@BobbyKGreen Career I'm mean come on I've been doin too much 2 fights n 31days and was going to do another n 30 days I need to stop gambling— Bobby King Green (@BobbyKGreen) January 2, 2014
Ok, didnt get to kick or knee tonight, but got a hell of a workout boxing and holding pads! Baby steps to Wreckage!! I miss coaching.— Alpha Cat Zingano (@CatZingano) January 3, 2014
First day of physical therapy! espt w Jacon Chun. He brought me back from the first one. I am in great... http://t.co/s58UnaKd1H— Miriam Nakamoto (@MiriamNakamoto) January 3, 2014
Like the fight?
Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) January 2, 2014
Congrats on a great career.
We're old @MattSerraUFC. Whenever we are together, people think we're stunt doubles for a new Danny Devito and Danny Glover movie.— Din Thomas (@DinThomas) January 3, 2014
Dustin kimura (@DustinKimura) January 3, 2014
Thank you all so much for the support. The hard work paid off. Ths will be at 155 lbs. see you all jan 15 at @ufc fight night 35!!!— Charlie Brenneman (@SpaniardMMA) January 2, 2014
On weight feeling great! Cut was easiest to date. Especially when your cutting with this hammer... http://t.co/iXn1oxblUJ— Dustin kimura (@DustinKimura) January 3, 2014
I like to believe there's bacon on the other side, too.
Time to protein load pic.twitter.com/bsJ4AgVkx5— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) January 3, 2014
Announced Dec. 31-Jan. 2 2014
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via okgangster.
December 28, 2013, the day fight fans had been counting down to; like eager children waiting for Christmas. What a Christmas present it was. The most anticipated fight of the year was set to take place Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva, with Silva being the challenger for the first time in seven years. This fight at the forefront and a stellar card supporting it, this was set to be one of the most memorable nights of the year.
Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier fought Diego Brandao in PPV's first fight. After a back and forth round Poirier screeched (think about it) Brandao with six seconds left in the first. This fight didn't do much for Poirier, he was expected to beat Brandao and he did, so people had called this a gimme fight for Poirier. Dennis Siver seems like a good next fight for him. Brandao fell flat. Which includes him missing weight by a massive amount on top of allegedly threating to stab Poirier; he could be looking at a lengthy suspension. He was the underdog, didn't have anything to lose, but he somehow found a way screw the pooch. Fights with either Manvel Gamburyan or Eric Koch would be interesting to see.
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