TUF brasil-sonnen-wanderleiUFC officials have formally announced UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman will defend his title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 173 on May 24 in Las Vegas. The rumored Memorial Day weekend headliner was confirmed over the weekend.

Weidman (11-0) is a perfect 7-0 inside the UFC Octagon. Making his debut in 2011, Weidman made his route to title contention by taking out Alessio Sakara, Jesse Bongfeldt, Tom Lawlor, Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.

In July of last year Weidman earned the UFC’s 185-pound belt by knocking out long-reigning champion and pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva. Weidman stopped Silva again in the second round in December via TKO (injury) in a rematch.

After losing a light heavyweight title shot to Jon Jones in Sept. 2012, Belfort moved back down to middleweight where he has had a career resurgence of epic proportions. In 2013, Belfort knocked out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson — and earned “knockout of the night” in each bout.

The 36-year-old Belfort made his Octagon debut at UFC 12 in 1997, winning two bouts in one night against Tra Telligman and Scott Ferrozzo to win the Heavyweight Tournament.

In addition to the Weidman vs. Belfort headliner, TUF Brazil 3 coaches Chael Sonnen (28-14-1) and Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) will finally settle their long-standing beef in the UFC 173 co-main event.

After losing back-to-back title fights to Anderson Silva (185 lbs.) and Jon Jones (205 lbs.), Sonnen submitted Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC Fight Night 26 in August of last year. Sonnen last fought in November, dropping a first round TKO to Rashad Evans.

Wanderlei has fought five times since 2010, winning three and losing two. During that time he scored knockout wins over Michael Bisping, Cung Le, and most recently, Brian Stann, while dropping bouts to Chris Leben and Rich Franklin.

Stay close to www.prommanow.com as more bouts for UFC 173 will be announced in the coming weeks.


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