Anderson Silva - UFC 148 Open WorkoutsThe UFC’s flirtation with Rashad Evans as a middleweight title-contender ended last night when the light heavyweight suffered a decision loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156. Prior to the stumble “Suga” ‘Shad had emerged as the newest member of the Anderson Silva sweepstakes, even going so far as to get an endorsement from UFC President Dana White.

However, with Evans no longer an option it looks like Chris Weidman is now in place for a 2013 tilt with Silva. The 9-0 Weidman has been calling for a fight with the legendary champion for months, often being rebuffed based on his inexperience and lack of superstar status. Now, with Evans out of the picture along with Michael Bisping, the 28-year old New Yorker is one of the only remaining avenues left to explore.

White confirmed Weidman’s place in line at the post-event press conference attached to UFC 156, stating he didn’t expect any issues from Silva’s side of the equation.

“Believe me right here, right now when I tell you, Anderson Silva does not care who he fights. Whoever we end up coming up with him to fight, he will fight,” said White.

Silva hasn’t defended his belt since beating Chael Sonnen last July, taking a bout with Stephan Bonnar at 205 pounds last October to help save a PPV scheduled in Brazil.

Weidman is in the process of rehabbing from shoulder surgery and is expected to be ready for action in early summer.