chris-weidman-10.jpgAs expected, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) will meet top contender Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) on Independence Day weekend at UFC 162. ( previously passed along news of the targeted bout, and today confirmed it as official with UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.

The event takes place July 6 in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Weidman has long campaigned for the fight, and though officials initially appeared they’d go another direction, UFC President White ultimately relented this past month and said he’d likely be next for the champion.

Weidman’s title hopes recently got a boost when fellow contender Michael Bisping suffered a loss to Vitor Belfort, which cost the Brit a promised a title shot. But Weidman, a former NCAA Division I All-American wrestler, has put together a worthy body of work, including a perfect 9-0 record and wins over UFC notables such as Mark Munoz and Demian Maia.

He’d face what is clearly his biggest test yet in Silva, who’s emerged as arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history with 17 consecutive wins, 16 straight UFC victories and 10 successful title defenses. Most recently, he followed a title win over Chael Sonnen with a non-title victory over Stephan Bonnar in a 205-pound non-title fight in this past October’s UFC 153 headliner.

Additional UFC 162 bouts and ticket information are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

For the latest on “UFC 162: Silva vs. Weidman,” stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

(Pictured: Chris Weidman)

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