Updated 06:26 AM EDT, Sun, Sep 20, 2020

Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva 2 Bleak; Dana White Wants Vitor Belfort Instead

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The Chris Weidman versus Anderson Silva fight may not happen anymore, with the present king of the hill saying on Monday, July 14, that he wanted to take down Vitor Belfort next, MMA Fighting said. Just days later, his wish seems to be granted.

"We want to make that fight happen," UFC president Dana White said on Friday, July 18, as reported in another MMA Fighting article. "That fight should've already happened before the Machida. That's the fight we want to do and that's the fight that Chris Weidman wants."

Weidman (12-0) was scheduled to fight Belfort at UFC 173 on Memorial Day weekend but Belfort's controversial use of testosterone replacement therapy got in the way, the report recalled.  He withdrew from the fight after the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) banned the treatment, it added. The withdrawal was later credited to a random pre-fight drug test which he failed.

Weidman told MMA Fighting that he wanted to defend his UFC middleweight title against Belfort after what the Bleacher Report remarked was "the best 12-month stretch of his career"—defeating Silva two times and Lyoto Machida.

"I do want to fight Vitor Belfort. He's the guy who's been floating around the top for awhile now," he told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour days ago, as quoted by the MMA Fighting piece. "I've kind of grew to enjoy fighting legends that I got into the sport watching and admiring."

Belfort (24-10) is scheduled to go on another drug test at the NAC on July 23 in Las Vegas, where he will apply for a license to fight Weidman. However, White also told the press at the media scrum in Dublin that the fight may not happen in NAC jurisdiction and that Brazil is a welcome venue.

"It doesn't have to take place in Nevada," White said, as quoted by MMA Fighting. "That fight would be big in Brazil, too... We'd want the okay from Nevada, and if Nevada was cool with it, I'd do it in Brazil."

Belfort has not been slated for a fight on American soil since August 2011, the Bleacher Report said.

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