The UFC's senior vice president and general manager of Brazil, Giovani Decker, announced the news Tuesday on Combate TV. The UFC formerly announced the news shortly after, although a specific host city for the fight was not specified.
Belfort (25-11) and Souza (22-4, 1 NC) were considered to be two of the frontrunners to challenge for Luke Rockhold's middleweight title following the news of Yoel Romero's potentially failed drug test. Instead the two will face each other in the summer, likely with the position of No. 1 contender up for grabs.
Belfort, 38, is a former UFC light heavyweight champion with a career spanning all the way back to 1996. Despite having twice been suspended for performance enhancing drugs, including a suspension for elevated testosterone in 2014, the Brazilian proved himself to still be a dangerous contender for the belt when he crushed Dan Henderson en route to a vicious first-round knockout victory in July.
Notably, Belfort is also the only man to defeat Rockhold inside the UFC, having knocked out the future champion with a devastating first-round spinning heel kick in 2013, in the midst of Belfort's controversial usage of testosterone replacement therapy.
Souza, 36, is a former Strikeforce champion who most recently saw his undefeated UFC streak snapped via split decision at the hands of Romero at UFC 194. Aside from that one blemish, the grappling savant's UFC/Strikeforce résumé is impressive, highlighted by finishes over Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, Derek Brunson, and Yushin Okami.