Once the dust settled from Chris Weidman‘s first defense of the UFC middleweight title – and the shock wore off a little over what happened to Anderson Silva’s leg – the questions started about where his next defense would take place.

The opponent had been known – UFC President Dana White had already said the white-hot Vitor Belfort would be next in line for the Weidman-Silva winner after UFC 168, which took place this past Saturday in Las Vegas.

A Silva win, and a Silva vs. Belfort rematch would make all the sense in the world for their home country of Brazil. But a Weidman win, and maybe there would be some eyebrows being raised over where the fight would take be.

But now it appears that question has been answered, and advantage: champion.

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta on Thursday told that the company’s plan is for Weidman to put his belt on the line against Belfort in the U.S., once again in Las Vegas, either in May or July.

That time frame, Fertitta said, would depend on Weidman. The UFC traditionally does a pay-per-view card on Memorial Day weekend in its Las Vegas homebase, as well as on Independence Day weekend. The Fourth of July-based card also typically has a coinciding UFC Fan Expo as part of “Fight Week.”

Belfort (24-10 MMA, 13-6 UFC) has won three straight fights, all in his home country of Brazil – and all “Knockout of the Night” victories. The three wins came over highly touted opponents, as well, in Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. And all three were started with kicks to the head. The Bisping and Rockhold wins were at middleweight, while Belfort fought Henderson in a light heayvweight contest – and became the first to knock “Hendo” out in his legendary career.

Central to the controversy surrounding Belfort is his therapeutic-use exemption for testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). Critics of Belfort’s TRT use have said the UFC only puts him in fights in Brazil because it’s easier for him to pass drug screenings there. (It should be noted that in his most recent fight against Henderson in November, Henderson also was issued a TUE for TRT use prior to the fight.)

Belfort maintains that he is a clean fighter and takes the doctor-prescribed dosages of TRT, and is tested in-camp. He also has said that he would pass tests and would be able to fight under any commission in the United States.

If the fight indeed takes place in Las Vegas, Belfort will have to apply for a TUE from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The NSAC has approved TUEs for other fighters in the past, including Chael Sonnen for his second title fight against Anderson Silva.

In 2006, for his first fight against Henderson, Belfort dropped a unanimous decision at PRIDE 32, then failed his post-fight drug screening for the bout in Las Vegas when he tested for elevated testosterone levels. That past failed test may be enough for the NSAC to give pause before approving a TUE for Belfort now. The Brazilian will turn 37 in April.

Weidman (11-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) this past Saturday defended his middleweight title against Silva, the man he took it from in July with a stunning second-round knockout. On Saturday in Las Vegas, Weidman dominated the first round, but in the second, he checked a Silva kick – which led to a gruesome broken leg for the challenger and longtime pound-for-pound king.

Silva now faces a lengthy recovery if he’s to fight again, while Weidman now moves on to his next challenge in Belfort. But now he at least knows he won’t need his passport to put his belt on the line.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White's 'Conor McGregor Injured' Report in Doubt |

  • 29 days ago

Is he injured or isn't he? Shortly after a UFC Tonight report that Conor McGregor was injured and not likely to fight in New York, negating reports surfaced. read news >>

UFC Fight Night 95 Predictions: Bleacher Report Main Card Staff Picks

  • 28 days ago

Another weekend, another UFC event that lacks any star power. We're six weeks into what will go down as one of the most brutal slogs in MMA history, with UFC events on almost every single Saturday fr read news >>

Report: Joanna Jedrzejczyk to defend title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205

  • 27 days ago

UFC 205 has added thestrawweight title fight betweenJoanna Jedrzejczyk vs.Karolina KowalkiewiczUFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will look to defend her title once again as she she's s read news >>

Video: Watch UFC Fight Night 95's post-event press conference on MMAjunkie

  • 27 days ago

BRASILIA, Brazil – UFC Fight Night 95 takes place today at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. As usual, you can watch a live video stream of the post-event news conference read news >>

'Rizin FF 2: World GP 2016' live video stream and official results (2 a.m. ET)

  • 27 days ago

Rizin FF 2 takes place Sunday in Japan, and you can join us for a live video stream and official results beginning at 2 a.m. ET (11 p.m. PT Saturday).Filed under: News, Videos read news >>

CES MMA 38 Results and Fight Highlights: Levan Makashvili Takes the Win |

  • 26 days ago

CES MMA 38 took place at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island, where Levan Makashvili submitted Sean Soriano in the night's main event showdown. read news >>

Video: Watch UFC Fight Night 96's post-event press conference on MMAjunkie

  • 25 days ago

PORTLAND, Ore. – UFC Fight Night 96 takes place Saturday at Moda Center in Portland, Ore. As usual, you can watch a live video stream of the post-event news conference here on MMAjunkie at approximat read news >>

Chael Sonnen vs. Tito Ortiz will not take place at Bellator 165 in San Jose

  • 24 days ago

Newly minted Bellator fighter Chael Sonnen got a little ahead of himself in announcing a fight with Tito Ortiz on Nov. 19 at Bellator 165. Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos read news >>

Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero Announced for UFC 205: Latest Details, Reaction

  • 24 days ago

UFC President Dana White announced Tuesday morning that Chris Weidman and Yoel Romero will face off during the UFC 205 card at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12. UFC vice president of public relations read news >>

Chris Weidman vs. Yoel Romero official for UFC 205 in NYC

  • 23 days ago

After weeks of uncertainty, New York native Chris Weidman finds a place on the first UFC card in New York.The former middleweight champion will be fighting No. 4 ranked middleweight Yoel Romero at th read news >>