Chris Weidman Next Fight: Vitor Belfort Next After Champion Beats Anderson Silva

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2013

DELRAY BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Vitor Belfort conducts a workout at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center on September 17, 2012 in Delray Beach, Florida. Belfort will fight Jon Jones on September 22, 2012 at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Chris Weidman retained his UFC middleweight title with a shocking and gruesome victory over Anderson Silva at UFC 168 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The match was short lived with Silva severely breaking his leg in the second round, but Weidman will not get to rest long, as the rejuvenated Vitor Belfort is waiting in the wings for his title shot.

Fox Sports' Damon Martin broke the news:

Belfort himself laid down the challenge at the UFC 168 presser:

Mike Chiappetta of Fox Sports captured another quote from the title-hungry Belfort:

This should not come as a surprise, as Belfort made it known days before the fight he would want a shot at the winner, per John Morgan of USA Today:

I don't care who will win on Saturday, because whoever wins will already be preparing to lose.That belt belongs to me.

I conquered my space. I wanted the opportunity to fight for the belt, and here I am. The one thing the fans wanted to see is me getting the title shot. Now I am more than ready to be a world champion in another division.

Weidman has undoubtedly had an impressive year, especially with two wins over Silva, who had won 16 straight fights before losing his belt. But one has to wonder if Weidman will get his due after this controversial ending.

One thing is for sure—nobody is questioning the monster run Belfort has put together as of late. Belfort owns knockouts over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson—no small feat considering Henderson had never been knocked out via strikes.

A "Phenom" indeed, Belfort certainly packs the punching power and unpredictability needed to bring the "All-American" back down to Earth. It is not as if the division has any other more worthy names at the moment to challenge Weidman, and like it or not, he is the man who has taken down Silva in consecutive fights.

That has to count for something, as does Belfort's career revival. Regardless of the date and locale, a bout between Weidman and Belfort at this point, given their recent successes, is the best move for UFC and its fans.


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