According to a July 23 report from MMA Fighting, Brazilian MMA legend Vitor Belfort has been booked for a title fight against UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman. Belfort battles Weidman at UFC 181 in December. The fight is expected to go down at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, and serve as the headliner of UFC 181.
Belfort, 37, recently appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission seeking a license to compete, following a failed drug test. The hearing aired live on UFC Fight Pass, and it ended up being filled with juicy drama. After plenty of back-and-forth discussion, Belfort was ultimately approved for a conditional license to return to the MMA fold. He fights the 30-year-old Weidman on Dec. 6, on a card that may also feature a title fight between Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez.
The UFC is also looking into booking Ronda Rousey vs. Gina Carano for the UFC 181 card in December. Weidman vs. Belfort is the only fight officially confirmed for UFC 181, as of the afternoon of July 23. Belfort must submit to random enhanced drug testing at the NSAC's discretion, and fight only in Nevada upon his return. Belfort also may not fight prior to this December. The aforementioned conditions must be followed by Belfort, or his conditional license may be revoked.
Weidman, a standout New Yorker, was originally slated to fight Belfort last month, but Lyoto Machida ended up filling in when "The Phenom" was forced out due to a failed drug test. Is Weidman vs. Belfort a must-see fight? Absolutely. Regardless of Belfort's past steroid use, he's still a perennial contender in the UFC's middleweight division. With or without performance-enhancing drugs, he's a beast inside the cage and he always comes to fight.
Belfort doesn't eek out close decision victories. Win or lose, he comes to fight and he's always looking for a brutal knockout finish. With Weidman, Belfort is up against perhaps the toughest test of his career. Weidman has never lost, and he's coming off a decisive victory over Machida. Prior to his win over Machida, Weidman defeated Anderson Silva on back-to-back occasions. More details about UFC 181 are sure to emerge in the days and weeks ahead.