A rematch between Anderson Silva and new middleweight champion Chris Weidman has been set for UFC 168 on December 28, UFC president Dana White said Saturday.
The fight, which will take place at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, will be the main event for the card. The co-main event will be a women’s bantamweight title fight between champion Ronda Rousey and challenger Miesha Tate.
“No [rematch]. Chris is the champion now. All the people tonight need to respect Chris, Chris is the best. That’s it, I’ve finished my working,” the 38-year-old told Joe Rogan in a post-fight interview. “I no fight more for the belt. I change my life now because I worked hard for a long time. I’ve had the belt for a long time. I’m tired. I’ll relax now and go back to my family.”
What made the announcement all the more shocking — and suspicious, to some — was the fact that the match was Silva’s first since signing a 10-fight deal with the promotion in December 2012. At the time, White said he didn’t think the UFC had ever done a 10-fight deal. Silva generally takes two or three fights a year, meaning the new deal would have seen the former champion fighting past 40.
White said he wasn’t expecting a Silva-Weidman rematch to go the same way it did at UFC 162.
“I completely expect a totally different fight this time. I don’t think he [Silva] will come out and taunt him [Weidman]…and do the things that he did. He went out and he played, and this isn’t the first time he’s done this, it’s not like this has never happened,” White said.
He continued, “He’s done it before and he got away with it. Chris Weidman didn’t allow it. Chris Weidman kept his composure when he was messing around with him. Weidman went right after him and ended up knocking him out…This will be the biggest fight in UFC history.”
The 29-year-old “All-American” snapped Silva’s seven-year and 38-fight win streak with a KO at 1:18 in the second round, improving to 10-0 (6-0 UFC) in his four-year MMA career.
What do you think of Silva vs. Weidman II? Do you think Chris Weidman will pull off another upset?