Chris Weidman finally has his next fight lined up, although not against the opponent he'd been asking to face.
Weidman, a middleweight from Baldwin, will fight Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 in Las Vegas on Dec. 29, Newsday has learned. Both fighters have verbally agreed to the bout.
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"I think I'm the man to take the title from Anderson Silva," Weidman said in a statement. "I think I'm the No. 1 contender in the division, with Anderson not fighting for the rest of 2012, I want to stay busy, keep getting better and take on the best out there. I think I'm the best middleweight in the world and I'm going to prove it against another top contender."
The undefeated Weidman (9-0, 5-0 UFC) is coming off a devastating knockout of Mark Munoz last July, his second straight win over a consensus top-five middlewight. The first came in January when he won a unanimous decision over Demain Maia on 11 days' notice.
"This is a big fight for the middleweight division. I'm better than ever and ready to prove that I am next in line for a title shot."
Weidman had been campaigning for that title shot against Silva since beating Munoz. Silva, who successfully defended his title for a UFC record 10th straight title by beating Chael Sonnen last July, has been more vocal about a super fight against welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. Silva's management has also said on multiple occasions that they don't believe Weidman's profile is big enough yet for a title shot.