By now, it’s not a surprise that there had been plans to reschedule the Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort UFC middleweight title fight to Feb. 28 in Los Angeles. UFC president Dana White confirmed the move on Wednesday via a video post on Instagram.
White posted the video after Belfort leaked confirmation of the move earlier in the day.
White had recently confirmed to UFC Tonight that Rousey and Zingano would be the co-main event for the UFC 182 pay-per-view featuring Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight strap. Plans have changed, however, with Rousey vs. Zingano moving from the Las Vegas based card to the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
There was no immediate explanation from the promotion as to why the Rousey vs. Zingano fight was moved, but it was likely due to Rousey’s popularity and the location being in her backyard making for a sensible move to bolster the UFC 184 fight card. The UFC is likely trying to make-up for having made the decision to cancel the UFC 176 fight card in Los Angeles after the Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes main event had to be rescheduled.
Weidman’s title defense against Belfort has been rescheduled numerous times since it was first set to happen at UFC 173 in May. Belfort’s licensing status due to Nevada’s cancellation of testosterone replacement therapy exemptions and a suspect drug test put that on hold.
After that matter was cleared, they were rescheduled for Dec. 6 in Las Vegas, but a broken hand put Weidman out of the fight. The champion is expected to be ready to fight again by February, so now the bout headlines the UFC 184 pay-per-view card in Los Angeles.