Anderson Silva will defend his UFC middleweight title against unbeaten prospect Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 162.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed the long-rumored matchup to Weidman on Wednesday during a trip to New York, according to a Newsday report. The bout joins a previously reported 185-pound matchup between Tim Kennedy and Roger Gracie, plus a 205-pound tilt between Thiago Silva and Rafael Cavalcante, on the July 6 card in Las Vegas.
Weidman began lobbying for the title shot after two strong wins in 2012 which saw him outpoint grappling wiz Demian Maia and knock out fellow wrestler Mark Munoz. The 28-year-old was slated to face Tim Boetsch at December’s UFC 155, but Weidman was forced to withdraw after suffering a torn labrum during training. A protégé of UFC veteran Matt Serra and Ray Longo, Weidman has gone unbeaten through nine professional bouts, including five wins inside the UFC.
In Silva, Weidman will face not only his stiffest test, but also perhaps the best fighter MMA has seen to date. The 37-year-old “Spider” has not lost in 16 bouts since entering the UFC in 2006 and has defended his middleweight belt a record 10 times. Silva last defended his belt in July, when he halted Chael Sonnen in the second round of their rematch at UFC 148. He moved up to light heavyweight in October for a short-notice bout against Stephan Bonnar, whom he demolished inside five minutes.