What is expected to be the biggest rematch in UFC history still is three months away, but the promotion for it will kick off with vigor this week.
UFC officials on Monday begin a weeklong “World Tour” with new middleweight champion Chris Weidman and former longtime champ and now upcoming title challenger Anderson Silva.
Weidman (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Silva (33-5 MMA, 16-1 UFC) rematch in the main event of UFC 168 on Dec. 28 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Weidman upset Silva with a second-round knockout at UFC 162 in July to dethrone the then-pound-for-pound king.
Today, the UFC kicks off the tour in Los Angeles with Weidman and Silva, plus UFC President Dana White. The tour then heads to Las Vegas, New York, Bristol, Conn., Miami, and Brazil for stops in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Only one of the days on the tour is off-limits to fans. The rest are free and open to the public, including Q&A sessions and autograph signings.
Weidman, a native of Long Island, gets an event in his home state of New York, while Silva gets a pair of days in his home country of Brazil.
Earlier this year, the UFC did a similar “World Tour” with the headliners of its fall and early winter pay-per-view events through the close of the year, including Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson from this past weekend’s UFC 165; Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos from UFC 166; Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks from UFC 167; and Weidman and Silva, plus Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate from UFC 168.
Tickets for UFC 168 go on sale to the general public on Friday with prices ranging from $100 to $1,000, plus fees.
The complete “UFC World Tour” includes:
Monday, 4 p.m. PT, Los Angeles
Q&A with Weidman, Silva, White at UFC Gym, 19800 Hawthorne Blvd #420, Torrance. Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, 11 a.m. PT, Las Vegas
News conference with Weidman, Silva, White at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino main lobby, 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Free and open to the public. Event will stream live at MMAjunkie.com.
Wednesday, 5 p.m. ET, New York
Autograph signing with Weidman and Silva at UFC Gym John Street, 80 John St., New York. Free and open to the first 300 fans.
Thursday, Bristol, Conn.
Press day at ESPN headquarters. Media only.
Friday, 1 p.m. ET, Miami
Open workouts with Weidman and Silva, Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park, 301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Free and open to the public.
Sunday, time TBA, Rio de Janeiro
Q&A with Weidman, Silva, White. Location TBD, Rio de Janeiro. Free and open to the public.
Monday, Sept. 30, time TBA, Sao Paulo
News conference with Weidman, Silva, White at a location to be announced in Sao Paulo. Free and open to the public. Event will stream live at MMAjunkie.com.
For more on UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman)