Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort to headline UFC 181

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The long awaited clash between Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort will finally take place at UFC 181 in December, the UFC announced today.

The news came shortly after the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) cleared Belfort to fight but under strict conditions.

Belfort will not be able to fight until December, will require testing at his own expense and will not be allowed to fight outside of Nevada - scrapping a potential UFC 179 clash.

Half a year in the making

The two fighters were initially set to meet at UFC 173 in May but Belfort pulled out voluntarily, having known he had failed a test in February for elevated testosterone.

He blamed the failed test on the rule change that saw Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) banned by NSAC.

Lyoto Machida replaced him but that fight was delayed until UFC 175, where Weidman convincingly beat Machida over five rounds and retained his undefeated record and UFC Middleweight title.

Now, despite Belfort not having fought since November of last year, the two will meet in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas in one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year.

See Also - Weidman and Belfort tipped for UFC 179

This narrows the options for UFC 179

The announcement doesn't just affect UFC 181 though, as Weidman-Belfort was tipped to be the main event of UFC 179 in Brazil in October but the NSACs decision means that card is likely to headlined by Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes II.

The Featherweight bout was planned for UFC 176 but an injury to Aldo forced the UFC to cancel that card.

A stacked Brazilian card would have to happen, especially with the UFC going into a stadium that could hold 50,000 - a number they've only hit once.

If Aldo-Mendes is the main event, then expect a big undercard with names like Lyoto Machida and Junior dos Santos possibilities.

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Vitor Belfort
Junior dos Santos

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