After over a year preparing for Vitor Belfort, middleweight champion Chris Weidman can finally focus on a new opponent. On Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight Dana White announced that Weidman will defend his title against Luke Rockhold. According to White the bout will take place in the near future and as of this writing no date or location has been announced.
Weidman is coming off an impressive TKO win over Vitor Belfort at UFC 187. After surviving an early barrage of punches Weidman was able to take Belfort down to the canvas where he unloaded a series of punches and elbows and the fight was stopped. The win pushed Weidman’s career record to 13-0 and was the sixth KO/TKO win of his career.
Rockhold is coming off an impressive performance of his own with a dominant win over former champion Lyoto Machida back in April. Rockhold showcased his size and strength by taking Machida off his feet and using vicious ground and pound before securing a rear naked choke for the win. The win was his fourth consecutive and his third submission win in his last four fights. Rockhold has a career record of 14-2 with is last loss coming in 2013 during his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort.
Both Rockhold and Weidman have been vocal about this bout taking place in December at Madison Square Garden. Seeing as MMA is banned in New York that may be a stretch. There is still time for lawmakers in the state to vote to have the sport legalized and for there to be an event at the world’s most famous arena but only time will tell.
As of now all we know is that New York’s Chris Weidman will defend his title against California’s Luke Rockhold in what should be a highly anticipated east coast vs. west coast battle for the UFC middleweight championship.