Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva to have rematch at UFC 168
Disbelievers will find out Dec. 28 if Chris Weidman's win over Anderson Silva was a one-night-only moment or the start of a new and noteworthy reign atop the UFC middleweight division.
After becoming the first to knock out Silva at UFC 162 in Las Vegas on July 6, Baldwin's Weidman will defend his title in a rematch in the same city and arena -- the MGM Grand Garden Arena -- in UFC 168.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement Saturday evening on ESPN's "SportsCenter."
Ronda Rousey, the women's bantamweight champion, will defend her title against Miesha Tate in the co-main event.
In a whirlwind week in which the UFC's first new middleweight champion was crowned in nearly seven years, White had put out several possibilities for the Weidman-Silva rematch. Super Bowl weekend (Feb. 1-2) in Newark was considered, as well.
Weidman (10-0, 6-0 UFC) pulled off the monumental upset of the greatest MMA fighter in the sport's history via a second-round TKO.
Silva (33-5, 16-1) has been criticized for his showboating in the fight. Although that has been Silva's style for several years, it never factored into the outcome of a fight. Until Weidman beat him, Silva had never lost in the UFC and had not lost a fight anywhere since Jan. 20, 2006.
Weidman, a two-time All-American wrestler at both Nassau CC and Hofstra, landed a left hook that sent Silva to the floor. Weidman immediately followed with several strikes to the floored Silva before referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight.
White said several times after the fight and again Saturday night that this rematch "will be the biggest fight in UFC history."
Some of that hyperbole is promoter-speak, but the first one did a reported gate of more than $4.8 million. That is third highest in UFC history, and that was before the impossible was made possible by a 29-year-old fella from Long Island.