UFC’s Dana White could put Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva II on Dec. 28
Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White said Monday he’s re-thinking his plans for a Chris Weidman-Anderson Silva rematch, and wants to get to it sooner rather than later.
White told The Times in a telephone interview Monday morning that he is strongly considering making Weidman-Silva II the main event of his pre-New Year’s Eve card on Dec. 28.
“This is going to be the biggest fight in UFC history,” White said.
In the hour after Weidman ended Silva’s run of 10 UFC middleweight title defenses and 16-0 record in the organization with a stunning second-round knockout, White said the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend card in February was a good time to consider the rematch.
“After I chilled a bit and thinking how big this fight was going to be, how this guy knocked out Anderson Silva, I’m thinking why have a card that conflicts with the Super Bowl on [broadcast partner] Fox?” White said. “We want our own date for this massive fight with no conflicts.
“So I’m very tempted to take it to Dec. 28.”
That would shift the scheduled Dec. 28 fight between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate to Super Bowl weekend, White said.
White and UFC founder Lorenzo Fertitta were scheduled to meet with Weidman for lunch Monday, where they would present him a financial gift beyond the guaranteed $48,000 he received for beating Silva.
An industry official familiar with the situation but unauthorized to discuss it publicly said Silva-Weidman generated somewhere between 625,000 and 650,000 pay-per-view buys, with Silva earning a guaranteed $600,000 plus bonuses expected to take him to $5 million.
“If Chris Weidman came out and beat the heck out of Anderson Silva, and people were saying Anderson looked 38, that’d be one thing,” White said. “But Anderson escaped Chris’ clutch on the ground, and just got caught.
“No one thought Chris would win by a knockout. I can’t wait for the rematch.”
White said switching Rousey’s schedule will make for a busy 2014 for the Venice fighter. White said he plans to have Rousey fight three more times in 2014 after fighting Tate.
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