Middleweight contender Chris Weidman has been actively lobbying for a title shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and it looks like he just might get that chance.
All we need now is an official UFC announcement.
That report was also confirmed by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani not long afterward, with the specific date targeted on July 6 for the UFC's usual Fourth of July weekend Las Vegas card:
Out of a long line of potential contenders, Weidman is effectively the last man standing for Silva, despite his relatively light MMA record and recent string of injuries.
Early Call: Silva or Weidman?
In just the past six months alone, the undefeated NCAA All-American wrestler has endured both an elbow surgery (via MMA Fighting) and a shoulder surgery (via MMA Junkie), keeping him from the Octagon for several months.
By the time Weidman steps into the Octagon to face Silva, he'll be facing a little under a year of ring rust.
Silva will be relatively fresher after his UFC 153 bout last October.
With potential contenders Michael Bisping, Hector Lombard, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen and even Rashad Evans either riding losses or seeking fights in other divisions, UFC president Dana White signaled just last February that Weidman was the only option left for Silva.
That also comes on the heels of failed negotiations for an Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre superfight, as both fighters' camps couldn't agree on a fair weight limit for the match. Instead, GSP will face Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal's Bell Centre.
McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist and tech writer. His work has appeared in GamePro, Macworld, PC World, 1UP, NVision, The Los Angeles Times, FightFans Radio, MMA Mania and Bleacher Report. Talk with him on Twitter.