Middleweight contender Chris Weidman has been actively lobbying for a title shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and it looks like he just might get that chance.
All we need now is an official UFC announcement.
In advance of that usual matchmaking formality, Newsday Sports' Mark La Monica has confirmed the bout via Twitter by way of UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta:
#breakingThat report was also confirmed by MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani not long afterward, with the specific date targeted for July 6:
Lorenzo Fertitta just told @chrisweidmanufc
in Albany that he spoke to Anderson Silva and the fight is on for July 4 weekend. — Mark La Monica (@LaMonicaMark) March 6, 2013
Out of a long line of potential contenders, Weidman is effectively the last man standing for Silva, despite his relatively light MMA record and recent string of injuries.
's report: L. Fertitta has informed Chris Weidman that he will fight Anderson Silva for the 185-pound belt on 7/6. — Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 6, 2013
In just the past six months alone, the undefeated NCAA All-American wrestler has endured both an elbow surgery (via MMA Fighting) and a shoulder surgery (via MMA Junkie), keeping him from the Octagon for several months.
By the time Weidman steps into the Octagon to face Silva, he'll be facing a little under a year of ring rust, while Silva will be relatively fresher after his UFC 153 bout last October.
With potential contenders Michael Bisping, Hector Lombard, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, and even Rashad Evans either riding losses or seeking fights in other division, UFC president Dana White signaled just last February that Weidman was the only option left for Silva.
That also comes on the heels of failed negotiations for an Anderson Silva vs. Georges St-Pierre superfight, as both fighters' camps couldn't agree on a fair weight limit for the match. Instead, GSP will face Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in Montreal's Bell Centre.