Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, July 13, 2013 | 4:40 p.m.
Just as UFC President Dana White predicted, Anderson Silva reversed course on his feelings about a rematch with middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
The swiftness of Silva’s change in opinion is the only part White didn’t expect. Less than a week after losing for the first time in 17 fights in the UFC, Silva asked for the rematch Weidman wanted to grant him all along.
His request was officially granted Saturday afternoon. White announced on "Sportscenter" that Silva vs. Weidman II would take place in the main event of UFC 168, scheduled for Dec. 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
"I don't know if there's any more hype ever in UFC history after a fight," White said. "Everybody has been wondering if there's going to be a rematch. I've been working on it since Thursday.”
The long-time Brazilian champion initially insisted he had no interest in facing Weidman again after the New York native humbled him with a second-round TKO at UFC 158 last Saturday. White was confident Silva would re-evaluate once he got home and felt the sting of losing set in.
Bingo. Oddsmakers have already chimed in too, setting Silva as a minus-160 (risking $1.60 to win $1) to defeat Weidman, who comes back at plus-130 (risking $1 to win $1.30), the second time around.
Many felt Silva beat himself a week ago, clowning around to a degree blatant enough that it allowed Weidman an opportunity to catch him. Weidman is motivated to prove his victory was no fluke.
The previously announced main event, another rematch, between women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will shift into the co-main event role. With two title fights, UFC 168 could set pay-per-view records for the world’s largest fight promotion.