Go a little further inside the Octagon with the UFC 187 media notes, released by the promotion.
The card takes place this evening and features Chris Weidman defending his middleweight belt vs. Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson facing Daniel Cormier for the vacant light heavyweight title.
FightLine will have complete coverage of all the action, including live play-by-play:
READY TO RUMBLE
Top-ranked light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson is ready to rumble. After undergoing a career resurgence and moving up three weight classes, “Rumble” has earned a shot at a world title after scoring two first-round Kos, most recently over Alexander Gustafsson in January 2015 and going undefeated since making the move to 205-pounds. “Rumble” will face two-time US Olympian and STRIKEFORCE Grand Prix winner, No. 3 Daniel Cormier for the vacant light heavyweight title. The winner of the bout will become the first new champion in the legendary division’s history in more than four years. “DC” most recently fought Jon Jones for the title in January at UFC 182 and will now get a second chance to prove he’s the best 205-pounder in the world and win the world title that has eluded him throughout his athletic career.
THIRD TIME IS A CHARM
Originally scheduled to meet at UFC 181 last December and again at 184 in February, Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort have a third date set for their middleweight title fight. Weidman will look to make his third successful title defense – all against Brazilians – while Belfort hopes to add his name to the record books. Already a former light heavyweight champ and the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament winner, Belfort looks to add middleweight champion to his resume as well, which would make him only the third two-division champion in UFC history (Couture, Penn). Undefeated as a pro, Weidman has finished eight of his 12 pro bouts and has the wrestling pedigree to control where the fight happens. There’s been bad blood brewing between the two for months, creating a can’t miss showdown between two of the sport’s best.
COWBOY VS THE BULL
No. 3 Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone meets John “The Bull” Makdessi in a lightweight clash. While the title implications and hype surrounding this fight may have died down a bit following No. 2 Khabib Nurmagomedov’s injury withdraw, this isn’t a bout folks should sleep on. Everyone is aware of Cowboy’s flashy Muay Thai and slick submissions, but long flying under the MMA radar is the striking of Makdessi who is a former kickboxing world champion and has finished eight of his 12 wins by way of KO, including four in the first round. Even with a new opponent, “Cowboy” can likely still plan on cashing another bonus check at the end of the night.
Four of the top-10 flyweights in the world will compete with a title shot likely up for grabs. Top-ranked John Dodson returns from a long injury lay-off with hopes of earning the title shot that’s rightfully his when he meets No. 9 Zach Makovsky. Makovsky has won three of four in the Octagon and is one of the only top-10 guys to not have a crack at Demetrious Johnson’s belt. Kicking off the main card will be No. 2 Joseph Benavidez and No. 4 John Moraga. While both have recently challenged for the title, they are two of the most dynamic finishers in the division and could be close to earning a rematch with the chance.