The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced tonight that former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida will face off against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 173 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 24.
In light of today’s unexpected ruling issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission regarding the ban of therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy, Vitor Belfort, Weidman’s previously announced opponent, will no longer compete at UFC 173. Belfort, who has previously been granted therapeutic use exemptions, recognizes that he needs an extended period of time to become licensed in the state of Nevada.
With the event scheduled to go on sale shortly, Belfort agreed to withdraw from the fight in order to allow the UFC’s promotional efforts to move forward on time.
“With today’s ruling by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who’s undefeated since dropping to 185 pounds, will fight champion Chris Weidman in the main event of UFC 173 in May,” UFC President Dana White said. “Machida was dominant in his last two fights, beating Gegard Mousasi and knocking out Mark Munoz.
He’s earned this shot at Weidman, who’s coming off two straight wins over the greatest fighter of all time, Anderson Silva. Machida wants nothing more than to avenge the losses of his friend and training partner, and become just the third fighter in UFC history to win titles in two separate weight classes.”
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Singapore, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest pay-per-view event provider in the world. In 2012, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which airs on FOX Sports 1.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 145 countries and territories, to nearly 882 million TV households worldwide, in 28 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and Australia via Main Event and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with more than 2.7 million followers on Twitter. Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs and video games, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.
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