Chris Weidman to fight Anderson Silva for UFC middleweight title in July

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ALBANY -- Chris Weidman will finally get the title shot against UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva on July 4th weekend at UFC 162 in Las Vegas, Newsday has learned.

UFC chief executive Lorenzo Fertitta on Wednesday told Weidman, a Baldwin native, in the Capitol building that he spoke to Silva and that he agreed to the fight.

"Dream come true," Weidman said. "Ever since I've been fighting, Anderson Silva has been the champion and I've been visualizing beating him. Now I have the opportunity. I have to make the most of it."

Bout agreements have yet to be signed, but getting Silva to agree to the fight was the biggest hurdle. He and his camp have been saying that they want big fights against big names for big money. Silva, 38, has gone out of his way to avoid saying publicly that he would fight Weidman.

On last week's episode of "UFC Tonight," Silva called Weidman "a boy, a kid."

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Weidman (9-0, 5-0 UFC) earned the shot by beating Demian Maia and Mark Munoz last year. While training for a scheduled fight last December against Tim Boetsch, Weidman tore his right labrum and had surgery. Weidman said Wednesday that his doctor told him a day earlier that he is 100 percent healed and cleared to resume training.

Silva has been the middleweight champion since 2006 and holds every UFC record for consecutive wins and title defenses. He last fought Stephan Bonnar in October at light heavyweight to help save the fight card in his native Brazil.

Weidman has been openly campaigning for this title shot. Silvia's camp has suggested possible fights with everyone but Weidman, names including Georges St-Pierre and Cung Le.

Weidman was in Albany on Thursday along with Fertitta and women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to help lobby for the legalization of MMA in New York State. The bill is expected to come to a vote in the Senate this afternoon. It has passed through the Senate each of the past three years. The bill needs to pass through the Assembly as well before going to the govenor's office for his signature.

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