Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort has been in the pipeline for months now, but the fight finally has a date. ESPN's Brett Okamoto announced that the fight is officially slated for May 24 and will go down in Las Vegas:
BREAKING: Chris Weidman will defend his UFC middleweight title belt vs. Vitor Belfort on May 24 in Las Vegas. (via @bokamotoESPN)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2014
UFC president Dana White stated last week the promotion was looking to put the fight together on either Memorial Day weekend or the July 4th weekend. This also confirms that the fight will go down on American soil.
Weidman, for his part, remains an undefeated beast of a middleweight. Following his scary win over Anderson Silva at UFC 168, which ended with Silva snapping his leg over Weidman's knee, he looks to get his first no-question win as middleweight champion.
Meanwhile, Belfort has been on a tear since losing a random light heavyweight title fight to Jon Jones at UFC 152, racking up back-to-back-to-back head-kick knockouts over Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson. He has been campaigning for a title fight for the better part of a year and now finally gets his wish.
His run back to top-contender status is not without controversy, however, given the hot-button topic of his testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) use. Questions that the UFC was shielding him from American athletic commissions have flown freely, but the UFC is apparently willing to finally let him plead his case to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
The buildup to his meeting with the commission will almost certainly be one of the biggest stories in MMA this spring. Whether or not his plea is successful has serious ramifications for TRT's future in the sport.