UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has revealed that they are targeting the summer of 2014 for Chris Weidman’s next middleweight title defence against current No.1 contender Vitor Belfort.
“Depending on Chris Weidman, I’d like to do Vegas [in] May or July,” Fertitta tells ESPN.com.
Weidman is of course coming off a rather unusual win over former champion Anderson Silva last Saturday night, defending his title after the Brazilian broke his leg in the second round. Prior to that Weidman had been winning the bout after dropping Silva in the first round and laying down some heavy ground and pound.
The win took Weidman to 7-0 in the UFC and a perfect 11-0 for his career to date. Along with his now-famous back-to-back victories over Silva, Weidman has also defeated the likes of Demian Maia and Mark Munoz so far, and if he could add Belfort’s name to that list then that would be another major feather in his cap.
That’ll be easier said than done though as Belfort was arguably the most impressive fighter on the UFC’s roster in 2013, notching up three spectacular victories over the course of the year, taking out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson by head kick.
Coincidentally, the last time Belfort made it to a middleweight title shot it was he who was being knocked out via head kick by Silva, but now he faces a completely different opponent in Weidman and he’ll be determined not to come away empty-handed for a second time.
With a number of the UFC’s key stars like Georges St.Pierre, Anderson Silva, Anthony Pettis and Cain Velasquez all likely to be out for much of the next year, a title fight like Weidman Vs Belfort is now going to be one of the biggest shows of the year so expect a big promotional push for this one, and hopefully a stacked main card underneath it.