UFC: WEIDMAN VS. BELFORT Date: Not announced Location: Las Vegas, NV Broadcast: PPV UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman (-260) Profile: The undisputed, defending middleweight champion of the world, Chris Weidman (11-0) is an absolute beast. After two freakishly odd, yet dominating wins over Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman is ready to leave the entire storyline of Silva killer behind to move on and justify further his holding of the middleweight title. Weidman is an incredibly talented grappler as he’s an NCAA All-American and pupil of Renzo Gracie’s BJJ academy. Weidman has fantastic submissions, crisp hands, and great size and ability. He’s also a smart fighter, and he has shown his relentless pursuit of finishing his opponent with powerful wins over Mark Munoz, Alessio Sakara, and of course Silva two times. Many have doubted his wins as flukes, considering Silva’s clowning and leg injury in their last two bouts, but you can’t deny that Weidman has the whole package in the terms of a prototypical MMA champion. He’s a tough test for anyone. UFC Middleweight Vitor Belfort (+180) Profile: The legendary Vitor Belfort (24-10) first made waves in the MMA world when the sport was still in its infancy. Making his UFC debut at 18 years old and in only his second career fight, Belfort went on to win the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament before his first loss was delivered to him by Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 15. Twenty fights later, including stints with Pride, Cage Rage, Affliction and Strikeforce, the 35-year-old Brazilian has come full circle and calls the UFC home once again. Belfort’s return fight was a memorable first-round TKO of Rich Franklin at UFC 103, which led to him earning a title shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 126. Despite suffering a first-round knockout to Silva by front kick and punches, he has since strung together some good wins with a first-round KO of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133 and a rear-naked choke submission victory against Anthony Johnson in front of a Brazilian crowd at UFC 142. He bounced back from a tough fourth-round submission loss to light heavyweight champ Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 152 by scoring a second-round TKO of Michael Bisping on January 19 and followed that up somehow with an even more impressive knockout of former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold at UFC on FX 8 in Brazil. Somehow, Belfort’s incredible 2013 culminated with him being the first man to stop Dan Henderson with strikes, avenging his Pride 32 loss with a first round knockout of Henderson at UFC Fight Night 32. Now, Belfort will challenge for the middleweight title once again, this time against Chris Weidman. Opening UFC Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Weidman a -260 betting favorite (bet $260 to win $100), while Belfort opened as a +180 underdog (bet $100 to win $180) at Several Bookmakers. This is an excellent matchup and will serve as the main event of one of two blockbuster UFC events, either the Memorial Day weekend card in May or the 4th of July card, but it will most certainly take place in Las Vegas. That could end up being the key to the matchup, as we all know that Belfort’s amazing run in 2013 was helped by his TRT exemption in Brazil, something that might not happen in Nevada. If Belfort can get the exemption then I would expect the same fighter who knocked out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson to show up against Weidman, and that’s a scary proposition for the young champion, who says he is against TRT use. Regardless of TRT, though, Belfort is always extremely dangerous and just one shot from his fists or knees can KO any opponent if it’s placed on the right spot. So far, Weidman has been absolutely flawless in the UFC and in his career and it’s extremely hard to bet against him at this point, but of all the contenders in the UFC middleweight division, I really believe Belfort has the best chance to dethrone him. And he just might do that this summer.