Chris Weidman defended his UFC middleweight title for the second time at UFC 175, winning a unanimous decision over Lyoto Machida.
It was an excellent fight that pushed Weidman further than he had ever gone before. The champion got the nod on all three judges' scorecards to retain the title. With another contender down, who will be next up for Weidman?
At the UFC post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White brought up the name Vitor Belfort.
Dana White said he is interested in Chris Weidman face Vitor Belfort next. Says there is stuff to be worked out first.— Bleacher Report MMA (@BR_MMA) July 6, 2014
Belfort is currently the No. 2-ranked contender in the middleweight division, but 2014 has gotten off to a rocky start for him.
The two elite middleweights were scheduled to face off at UFC 173, but Belfort took himself out of the bout after the Nevada State Athletic Commission changed their policy on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
After Weidman went through minor surgery, he was booked against Machida for UFC 175. Belfort joined the card going opposite Chael Sonnen. However, a random drug test would force Belfort off the card. He had elevated testosterone levels that were well past the normal ranges. The random test was taken in February at an awards show.
White did mention that while he is interested in Belfort, the embattled middleweight has to get his affairs in order before making that decision. Those affairs will be getting a license to fight. Belfort's test for elevated testosterone may make it difficult to get a license from the athletic commissions that govern where the UFC will want to hold a potential title fight.
Is the champion interested in the potential matchup?
According to Weidman himself, per the UFC post-fight show on Fox Sports 1, he is interested in the fight.
It is a fight that the champion wants, the fans want and the UFC president wants. Now it is just a matter of Belfort taking care of his licensing to put the fight in play. If not, there are an ample number of contenders waiting in the wings.