Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman II set for UFC 168 in December

A week after Chris Weidman produced his stunning knockout of longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight champion Anderson Silva, the rematch has been set.

UFC President Dana White said Saturday he has returned to his original idea of placing Weidman-Silva II on the UFC 168 card on Dec. 28 -- the UFC’s popular “New Year’s” card at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The co-main event will be UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey’s second title defense, a rematch against her former Strikeforce rival Miesha Tate.

White originally told The Times last week that he wanted Weidman-Silva II to be fought on Dec. 28, avoiding another annual UFC card in Las Vegas on the Saturday night before the Super Bowl in February.

This year, UFC network broadcast partner Fox is televising the Super Bowl, and White said he didn’t want what he projected as “the biggest fight in UFC history” to have a distracted mainstream sports audience.

Weidman (10-0) shocked Silva at UFC 162 on July 6 in Las Vegas with a second-round knockout, putting an end to the former champion’s antics-laced performance that included dancing, comic facial expressions and punching his own chin.

For Silva (33-5), the loss ended a run of 10 successful title defenses dating to October 2006, and a 16-0 record in the UFC.

White retreated later last week from the proposed Dec. 28 slot, saying Rousey-Tate would keep the date.

“Anderson told us he had a bunch of appearances and things to do, and we were trying to let him keep those,” White said.

Silva’s team, however, assured the UFC the Brazilian could still maintain his personal schedule and be ready for a Dec. 28 fight date.

When reports began circulating Friday and Saturday in the Brazilian media about other dates, White said he secured the fight agreements and told Brazilian reporters he was going on ESPN to refute their conflicting information.

White said the purse split will again favor Silva -- “We have deals in place with both guys,” White said -- but he noted bonuses will again be in play after Weidman received a lavish one for beating Silva.

“You know what Chris Weidman said after that fight? That he’s very happy to be fighting in the UFC,” White said.

White said he has yet to decide how he’ll fill the Super Bowl weekend card.


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