The much-anticipated UFC middleweight rematch between champion Chris Weidman and former titleholder Anderson Silva is set for Dec. 28 at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, promotion president Dana White told ESPN on Saturday.
“Ever since the fight got over, I don’t know if there’s ever been any more hype, ever, in UFC history after a fight,” White said on “SportsCenter.” “Everybody has been wondering if there will be a rematch. I’ve been working on it since Thursday.
For the first time in his illustrious career, Anderson Silva finds himself at a crossroads. His future as a fighter hinges on what happens in that rematch with Chris Weidman, Franklin McNeil writes. Blog
• Power Rankings: Silva drops
Weidman handed Silva his first loss inside the Octagon on July 6 at UFC 162 in Las Vegas. Regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist in history, Silva was knocked out in the second round by a Weidman left hook.
Immediately after the loss, Silva stated he didn’t want a rematch. But minutes later, during the UFC 162 post-fight news conference, he began softening his stance — saying he needed three-to-four months to think about his next move.
It turns out Silva needed less than a week to conclude he wants to face Weidman a second time.
“Yeah guys, my fans, UFC and my fans [throughout] the world and in the United States, Dec. 28, I coming back to fight: Weidman and Anderson Silva. I back. Trust me, I back,” Silva told ESPN.
White said both Weidman and Silva have signed the bout agreements. There was no difficulty putting the fight together.
“Anderson Silva is motivated, fired up and wants the belt back,” White said. “I expect a totally different fight. I don’t think he is going to come out and taunt [Weidman].
“He went out and played. It’s not the first time he’s done this. He’s done it before and he got away with it. Chris Weidman didn’t allow it. Chris Weidman kept his composure when [Silva] was messing around with him and Weidman went right after him and ended up knocking him out.”
The 38-year-old Silva had successfully defended his 185-pound title a UFC-record 10 times heading into the showdown with Weidman. He had won 16 straight fights in UFC competition.
After the loss, Silva fell from No. 1 on the ESPN.com mixed martial arts pound-for-pound list to No. 4. Weidman, who made his debut on the list, is ranked fifth.
Weidman (10-0) became the first mixed martial artist to knock out Silva. He will take a six-fight UFC win streak into the rematch.
Rousey makes the second defense of her women’s bantamweight title in a rematch. The fight with Tate will be the second between them.
In their first meeting, on March 3, 2012, Rousey submitted Tate in the first round to claim the Strikeforce title.
Rousey (7-0) makes her second official defense of the UFC belt. In her Octagon debut, she submitted Liz Carmouche in the first round at UFC 157 on Feb. 23.
She has submitted all of her opponents in the first round via armbar.
Tate replaced Cat Zingano, who was forced to withdraw from UFC 168 because of a knee injury in May. In her most recent fight, on April 13, Tate was knocked out in the fourth round by Zingano.