Just mere moments after No. 2-ranked UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort was granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) after his well-documented rollercoaster of hold-ups concerning the controversial and banned testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT), “The Phenom” has his long-rumored bout with middleweight champion Chris Weidman lined up.
Weidman and Belfort will go to war in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 181 on December 6, 2014, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The UFC confirmed the booking on Twitter:
Motion passed. Vitor Belfort may compete in Vegas. Looks like Belfort-Weidman. #UFC181. @MandalayBay. December 6th #Boom
— UFC (@ufc) July 23, 2014
Weidman and Belfort were supposed to square off at May’s UFC 173, but the NSAC and UFC’s late February ban of TRT put that fight in the scrap heap. Belfort was found to have failed an NSAC-mandated drug test in early February before the ban, which could have set the outright abolishment of TRT into motion.
Meanwhile, Weidman successfully defended his belt against Lyoto Machida at UFC 175, but he didn’t escape without a myriad of injuries. He’ll take the next four months to heal up from those and get ready to face what may just be the toughest test of his skyrocketing career.
But it’s still very much up in the air as to whether or not Belfort will be the same fighter we saw in 2013 without the aid of synthetic testosterone.
A certain top-ranked middleweight certainly doesn’t seem to think he will be.
Earlier this week, UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis said his title fight with Gilbert Melendez had been moved from UFC 182 on January 3, 2015 to UFC 181; it is unknown whether or not the 155-pound scrap will remain on the card.
Keep your eyes on LowKick MMA for all upcoming developments in the saga of Vitor Belfort.