UFC Reportedly Wants Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort in Las Vegas in Either May or July

January 3, 2014
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Chris Weidman UFC ChampionThe UFC has yet to announce a date, but if everything goes according to plan, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will defend his belt against Vitor Belfort in either May or July in Las Vegas.

That is according to an ESPN report citing UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.

“Depending on Chris Weidman, I’d like to do Vegas [in] May or July,” Fertitta said via text message.

UFC president Dana White confirmed that Belfort would be Weidman’s next challenger after the champion defeated Anderson Silva for a second time in their UFC 168 headlining bout on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, although he didn’t give any hints as to when or where the two would meet.

Belfort hasn’t fought in the United States since 2011. He has fought five times since then, four of those bouts being in his home country of Brazil.

Speculation has often been that Belfort has fought frequently in Brazil because the athletic commission there grants him an exemption for testosterone replacement therapy. He might find it difficult to get such an exemption in Las Vegas since he tested positive for the anabolic steroid 4-Hydroxytestosterone and was suspended for nine months following his fight with Dan Henderson at Pride 32 in 2006.

“I don’t see Vitor Belfort getting a TRT exemption from us,” Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer told Bleacher Report last year, citing his past positive test.

White, however, has consistently maintained that Belfort’s TRT use had nothing to do with so many of his fights taking place in Brazil. The UFC president said that Belfort’s frequent bouts in Brazil were at the request of the UFC’s Brazilian television partner, Globo.

“There’s no reason why Vitor Belfort can’t fight in Las Vegas, or anywhere else in the United States,” said White.

For his part, Belfort has stated that he would accept a title fight whether or not he was allowed a TRT exemption.

Weidman did not receive any sort medical suspension following his recent title defense over Silva. Belfort has been clamoring for a title shot since his November victory over Dan Henderson, in which he suffered no injuries. So there are currently no known physical issues that should preclude Weidman vs. Belfort from taking place within the Fertitta’s preferred timeframe.

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  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    Keith Kizer’s quote in this article is key. It’s good news we’ll be seeing a fair fight with naturally occuring testosterone levels in Vitor.

    • Wolf Ticket

      Not sure about that: “For his part, Belfort has stated that he would accept a title fight whether or not he was allowed a TRT exemption.”

      There is no mention of Vitor not taking testosterone, just that he would accept the fight. Maybe he just goes for the paycheck and does not care about the post-fight testing :).

  • So far away. April would have been nice and I hope they don’t continue to do Weidman fighting in Vegas all the time now.

    • Maddawgmar

      I don’t think they will, they just want Vitor to fight in a place with the most difficult TRT commission so there aren’t any asterisk for the winner. IMO

      • I don’t buy into the UFC protecting Vitor by having him in Brazil because that makes no sense but I am happy Vitor will be fighting in the states again. Both of these guys are big draws and it would be nice to have them in other arenas for a change.

        • Maddawgmar

          I don’t think they are either, but rather they are protecting the image of the title holder. I think it’s because of the contaversy that is already out there. They want to say we have a champion that is clean.

  • otto

    gonna b strange watching a middlewieght championship fight without Silva being one of the combatants…..Hes got some pretty challenging battles coming his way, we’ll see if he’s a one trick pony or for real…..Lombard will be difficult for anyone at that weight, what a beast…..gonna be some interesting defenses to say the least

    • Maddawgmar

      How is he even considered a one trick pony??? He has knocked ppl out submitted ppl, and grinded ppl out. Do you mean a one hit wonder.

      • dgs

        Exactly. While I (strongly) rooted for Silva in both fights, Weidman has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s hardly a one trick pony. He destroyed Silva in their first fight, and was clearly winning the second fight before the leg break (which was due to Weidman’s sound technique, not a fluke the way some people make it out to be). Before that, while his level of competition was nowhere near as tough as Silva, he won all those fights in convincing fashion too.

        Weidman has turned me into a believer, and right now with the exception of Belfort (who I think will get beaten by Weidman), I don’t see anyone at 185 who is going to take the belt from Weidman any time soon.

        • brad king

          Weidman did’t beat silva. Silva self destructed in both fights beat himself in both fights. Weidman will be a former champion in either of his next 2 defences. Cant wait till Machida whups him good for doing that to his brother. IT’s funny people actually think of Weidman as a champ. He is a * champ.

    • Maddawgmar

      Also Lombard is in a total different weight class. He fights at 170.

  • brad king

    i hope victor destroys weidman! go vic

    • Ron Bidelman Jr.

      Only way thats happening is if he has a gun. So i really dont see that.

    • Natsdad

      His name is actually Vitor, not Victor and he’s gonna go to sleep when he faces Weidman.

      • brad king

        thx i stand corrected, Soon Chris will be corrected as a chumpion.

  • otto

    Many challenges ly ahead of Weidman, I know many may not agree, but IMO, Belfort can KO him, Bisping can win a close fight by out pointing him, Jacare can sub him, Lombard can stare at him and do some damage, Machida got a chance with anyone with his awkward style and Tim Kennedy, well he would just lose….ha ha…
    Id like to see a ruling that granted you have your health, a champion should fight 3 times a year, I really dont think thats too much to ask, if healthy, If is a big one I know…..

    • Ron Bidelman Jr.

      I agree with Machida. Thats it. The others will be taken down or smothered against the cage or ground.

    • XIRand0mHeroIX

      I don’t see Bisping standing any chance with Weidman imo. And with the all the new competiton and Machida dropping weight I think Bisping is going to fade from the top 10 soon. This division was really boring for a long time looking good now though


    I think even May is too late !!! sooner the better, I hate it when Champs only fight 1-2 times a year they should fight every 4 months … esp when they have soo many challengers ahead (Vitor, Machida, winner of Carmont/ Jakare)

    • Chris Morgan

      You’re not the only one.The problem is the UFC seemingly has cards booked so far in advance that there’s not much flexibility to bump one fight off in favor of another. Plus, you have to take into account the amount of events the UFC has now. Obviously, no one wants another “UFC 151” to happen. Spreading out title defenses certainly helps that cause. You don’t really see very many cards featuring multiple title defenses these days.

      All things considered, I highly doubt UFC execs would ever consider featuring a middleweight title defense on free TV. There’s a reason why all flyweight title defenses have been on TV so far. Unless more free title fights (more than just flyweight and lightweight) are in the UFC’s future, there will inevitably be scheduling issues when it comes to title fights per year.

      • JDMMA

        They are both healthy … why wait?

        • Chris Morgan

          Have you seen the UFC’s schedule lately? They are completely booked. The earliest Belfort and Weidman could actually fight is @ UFC 172 in April as the co-main event for Jones vs. Teixeira. The only problem is that Belfort vs. Weidman could easily headline a separate event. That means the earliest they could possibly fight is in May on PPV or possibly on Fox (not as likely).

    • Ian Price

      Champs should fight 2-4 times a year, and non-champs 3-5 times a year. But then there are injuries….

      • JDMMA

        they are both healthy … why wait ?? that’s what I have problem with… like Urijiah Faber fought 4 times in 2013,, but lets say if he becomes a champ,,, he’ll be fighting once every 8 months

  • Big Tuna

    Belfort is in roids. Oh and TRT

    • earlsimmons

      in roids….

      • Big Tuna

        I’m Brazilian ! I also say Howdy Honda Housey…cherio

  • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

    this fight would be huge even in Brazil and there isn’t much time difference

  • Cilantro

    Why is everybody bringing up Lombard? He dropped down to WW and is fighting Shields, or have i missed something? Also i feel too many are overlooking Mousasi in this equation, he’s got tons of experience and is extremely well-rounded, not saying Machida isn’t a favorite in that fight but Gegard has got a similar style/skill-set that can offer problems. Damn, this division is looking soooo good atm.

    • bajafox

      I thought Lombard dropped to 170 also

    • Ian Price

      Gegard is no joke. People just don’t know about him yet. He is probably at most a +150 against Machida. Hell, I’d take +500 vs jones at 205!

      • JDMMA

        Did you watched Gegard’s last fight? Snooz Fest …

  • Booch

    It’s hardly a fair fight when someone’s pumping his levels skyhigh during training and then drops to an accepted level for the fight…

  • Ron Bidelman Jr.

    Good deal. Belfort will be taken down and have the s*** beat out of him. Period. Not even a match.