The light-heavyweight debut of Chris Weidman will take place at UFC Boston on Oct. 18.
Weidman, a former UFC middleweight champion from Baldwin, and undefeated Dominick Reyes are set to face one another in the main event of UFC Fight Night in TD Garden. UFC made the official fight announcement on Wednesday afternoon after news of the matchup broke Tuesday evening.
Weidman (14-4, 10-4 UFC) last fought at UFC 230 in November 2018 at Madison Square Garden, where he lost by knockout in the third round to Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Weidman was leading, 20-18, on two of the judges’ scorecards after two rounds, with the third judge having it at 19-19 in what became an exciting striking match between a top wrestler in Weidman and a top jiu-jitsu competitor in Souza.
With wins over Volkan Oezdemir, Ovince St. Preux and Jared Cannonier, Reyes (11-0, 5-0 UFC) has risen to No. 4 in the UFC light-heavyweight rankings.
Reyes, 27, from California, was a safety and captain for the Stony Brook University football team, playing for the Long Island school from 2009 to 2012 after redshirting in 2008. Weidman, 35, was a two-time All-American wrestler for Hofstra, adding something of a geographical and collegiate rivalry angle to a certain segment of fans.
"I agree and I want [Jon] Jones, but if they want me to take Weidmans head to prove I am the one, I'd be more than happy!," Reyes tweeted on Tuesday in response to news of this potential booking.
Weidman responded on Twitter a few hours later.
"Did you forget you had a controversial split decision win your last fight?" he tweeted. "You think u would deserve a title shot ? And about taking my head I look forward to making you humble."
Reyes and Weidman continued the back and forth.
"Did you forget your last 4 at middleweight!?," Reyes wrote. "Controversial or not a win is a win. In fact, It gave YOU this opportunity so I'll just have my best performance against you (ex-champion). Then there will be no debate I am The 1. Don't confuse confidence with arrogance Chris."
Reyes was referencing Weidman's recent run of four losses in his last five bouts, dating to losing his title to Luke Rockhold at UFC 194 in December 2015. Weidman, who won the middleweight title from Anderson Silva and then defended it three times -- the second longest run in UFC middleweight history behind Silva's 10 in a row_ was stopped in all four of those losses. His last win came via submission against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Long Island in July 2017.
"I have more UFC world title belts then you have UfC finishes," Weidman tweeted. "See you in Boston, Devastator."