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Chris Weidman Withdraws From UFC 173, Title Fight Against Lyoto Machida Set For July 5

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman at UFC 168

Jayne Kamin-Oncea – USA TODAY Sports

Lyoto Machida is going to have to wait a little longer for his title shot against UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. The unbeaten Weidman, who is a perfect 7-0 inside the Octagon, has been forced to withdraw from UFC 173 on May 24 because of a minor knee injury that requires surgery. The Weidman vs. Machida clash has been rescheduled for UFC 175 on July 5 in Las Vegas as part of the UFC’s International Fight Week.

The May 24 main event has seen its share of change, as Weidman was initially set to defend the belt against Vitor Belfort. However, the veteran Brazilian was removed from the card after the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT. Machida, who is 2-0 since making the move down to the 185-pound weight class , was tabbed as his replacement. He will be looking to win UFC gold for a second time as “The Dragon” is a former light-heavyweight champion.

Hopefully all goes well for Weidman with his surgery and there’s no further delay for this highly anticipated matchup. He’s been at the top of his game in registering back-to-back victories over long-time former champion Anderson Silva. The UFC has already had to deal with major injuries in 2014 to lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and heavyweight titleholder Cain Velasquez. To make matters worse, newly minted welterweight champion Johny Hendricks won’t be ready to fight again until October after recent surgery for a torn bicep suffered in his thrilling title win at UFC 171.

A new main event for UFC 173 will be announced by the promotion in the next few days. It’ll be intriguing to see what the organization decides upon as the new headliner bout.

Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports.