Assuming "The Phenom" can get cleared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White wants Chris Weidman to defend his middleweight title against division number one contender Vitor Belfort; however, he won't do anything to undermine the authority of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
That means "The Phenom" has to be cleared by the NSAC before White can play matchmaker, but if and when he does, expect the promotion to target a year-end title fight in ... Brazil. That's correct, Belfort will be cleared to compete in Las Vegas so that White can book him in Brazil.
From the UFC Dublin media scrum (watch it):
"We want to make that fight happen. That's the next fight. That fight should've already happened before the Machida. That's the fight we want to do and that's the fight that Chris Weidman wants. It doesn't have to take place in Nevada. That fight would be big in Brazil, too. I would do it Brazil. As long as the commission clears him, yeah. We'd want the okay from Nevada, and if Nevada was cool with it, I'd do it in Brazil."
Belfort was already cleared to compete by the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) back in May.
"The Phenom" must appear before the NSAC next Wednesday (July 23, 2014) to answer for a failed drug test earlier this year, his second in Nevada. While the first was for steroids back in 2006, the second was a result of testosterone, which helped lead to a statewide ban of TRT.
Subsequent tests also felled Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva.
White's decision to send Belfort back to Brazil is likely to raise a few eyebrows, since the Brazilian -- and his chemistry set -- was accused of hiding on his home turf during a torrid run through the division, which included three straight wins by way of violent knockout.
Expect this topic to be front and center by the middle of next week.