Chris Weidman needs surgery before his next UFC title defense. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
A knee injury has forced UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman to withdraw from UFC 173, the promotion announced Monday.
Weidman was scheduled to defend his belt against former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida in the pay-per-view main event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but the “All-American” will be kept out of action to undergo minor knee surgery. According to a release from the UFC, a new main event will be announced for the May 24 card in the days to come.
The 185-pounders will not have to wait much longer to square off, as the UFC also confirmed that Weidman and Machida will instead meet at UFC 175, which takes place July 5 at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Weidman, 29, captured UFC gold last July with a stunning knockout of longtime champ Anderson Silva, then defended the belt against “The Spider” in December. The collegiate wrestler holds an unblemished record of 11-0 and has finished five of his seven opponents inside the Octagon.
Onetime 205-pound ruler Machida has looked extremely sharp in his two bouts at middleweight. The 35-year old karate stylist first made the cut last October with a head-kick knockout of Mark Munoz, and then followed up with a hard-earned, five-round decision victory over ex-Strikeforce ace Gegard Mousasi.