Dana White targeting Vitor Belfort as next opponent for Chris Weidman


While the judges gave UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman a unanimous decision nod for his UFC 175 victory over Lyoto Machida, most observers would likely agree the final two frames were very competitive and could have gone Machida's way. The judges only gave Machida the fourth as did UFC President Dana White, according to his post-fight press conference comments.

Still, is that enough to get Machida a rematch? Probably not.

"I gave Machida the fourth round," White said when explaining his scoring. "It was a great fight. It's one of those fights for Chris Weidman that, he beat Anderson Silva twice. Undefeated, and the way he beat Anderson twice."

"To get this fight against a guy like Machida, be undefeated, have those two on your resume," White continued, but switched gears when setting up what he thinks is the likely and hopeful next fight. "I think what's next and what everybody would like to see - what I'd like to see and what you'd like to see - is probably Vitor Belfort.

"So, let's see what happens with Vitor. If this guy can get his business handled."

As it stands, though, nothing is certain. Belfort was originally set to face Weidman at UFC 173. However, once the Nevada Athletic Commission banned the use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), a regimen Belfort was on, in May, Belfort was yanked from the card and replaced by Machida. That fight was subsequently moved to UFC 175 after Weidman suffered an injury in training and had to receive medical treatment.

Still, Belfort was then going to face Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 after Wanderlei Silva was removed from the card for his own regulatory testing issues only to have that bout scrapped when Sonnen failed a random drug test, was removed from the bout and retired.

Belfort also has admitted failing a random drug test that had been administered in February and was set to go before the NAC on June 17 to have his licensing issues resolved, but was removed from the agenda when the bout with Sonnen was cancelled. He's yet to schedule any subsequent meetings.

While a bout with Weidman may or may not take place in Nevada, UFC likely won't move forward with Belfort no matter where the bout takes place given their longstanding deference to the authority of the NAC.

As for where that leaves Machida, White says the Brazilian karateka isn't going away any time soon.

"I don't think Machida's going anywhere," White said. "Machida's one of these guys in this division that's one of the best in the world. We'll see how this thing plays out."

For his part, Belfort took to Instagram on Saturday night, pleading for him to get the next title shot. "Now I want what I deserve, " Belfort wrote. "MY TITIE SHOT!!! Don't run away!! No excuses!!"

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