will defend his UFC middleweight title against unbeaten
in the main event of UFC
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the long-rumored matchup to
Weidman on Wednesday during a trip to New York,
according to a Newsday report. The bout joins a previously
reported 185-pound matchup between Tim Kennedy
Gracie, plus a 205-pound tilt between Thiago
Silva and Rafael
Cavalcante, on the July 6 card in Las Vegas.
Weidman began lobbying for the title shot after two strong wins in
2012 which saw him outpoint grappling wiz Demian Maia
and knock out fellow wrestler Mark Munoz.
The 28-year-old was slated to face Tim Boetsch
at December’s UFC 155, but Weidman was forced to withdraw after
suffering a torn labrum during training. A protégé of UFC veteran
Serra and Ray Longo, Weidman has gone unbeaten through nine
professional bouts, including five wins inside the UFC.
In Silva, Weidman will face not only his stiffest test, but also
perhaps the best fighter MMA has seen to date. The 37-year-old
“Spider” has not lost in 16 bouts since entering the UFC in 2006
and has defended his middleweight belt a record 10 times. Silva
last defended his belt in July, when he halted Chael Sonnen
in the second round of their rematch at UFC 148. He moved up to
light heavyweight in October for a short-notice bout against
Bonnar, whom he demolished inside five minutes.
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