Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Chris Weidman got his wish and will make his next title defense over Memorial Day Weekend, taking on Vitor Belfort in the main event of the UFC 173 pay-per-view (PPV) event on May 24, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
ESPN.com first reported the upcoming match-up.
After winning the middleweight title -- then keeping it -- in consecutive bouts against Anderson Silva, Weidman (11-0) will move on to the next chapter in his combat sports career. That includes a five-rounder against "The Phenom," who rocketed back to the top of the rankings (see them here) with three stunning knockout victories against top-shelf competition.
But that was in Brazil.
Now it's time to see if Belfort (24-10) can replicate those performances in stateside competition, specifically Las Vegas, where his testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) may or may not be allowed to take place. All bets are off now that Keith Kizer has resigned from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (more on that here).
And a win could make the "All American" the greatest pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
A loss, however, would leave "The Phenom" -- who started as a heavyweight -- as the first mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter competing under the ZUFFA banner to hold a world title across three different weight classes, in a career that dates all the way back to 1996.
Not bad for an "old lion."
No other fights have been announced for UFC 173 at this time; however, the light heavyweight grudge match between The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva is expected to serve as the night's co-main event.