UFC president Dana White announced on Instagram that UFC 184 will emanate from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 28 and will feature a pair of championship bouts.
In the main event, UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (12-0) will defend his title against Vitor Belfort (24-10) and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (10-0) will put her belt on the line against Cat Zingano (9-0). This will be the second fight card that Rousey and Weidman will share. They both successfully defended their titles at UFC 168 and UFC 175.
Hopefully, the third time is a charm for Weidman vs. Belfort to finally come to fruition. They were first expected to throwdown at UFC 173 in Sacramento, but Belfort withdrew after the Nevada State Atheltic Commission (NAC) announced that TRT exemptions would be banned in the state of Nevada. He released a statement explaining that he assumed other states would follow suit. Instead, Lyoto Machida fought Weidman and dropped a decision to the reigning champ at UFC 175.
Meanwhile, Belfort had to go through a licensing process before the NAC after failing a random drug test on Feb. 7. He received a conditional license and the championship bout was then booked for UFC 181. However, Weidman broke his hand and withdrew from that planned matchup, which is now reslated for Feb. 28, 2015.
Belfort’s license was contingent upon him passing drug tests leading up to the Dec. 6 fight card, but reports have surfaced that he has not been tested at all by the NAC. They since passed over the responsibility to the California State Athletic Commission upon discovering that the fight would take place there.
By the time Belfort steps into the cage to meet Weidman, 15 months will have passed since his last fight. In November last year, the “Phenom” became the first man to ever stop Dan Henderson with strikes.
Rousey and Zingano are both undefeated and are planned to do battle in the co-main event of UFC 184. Ariel Helwani reported on UFC Tonight that UFC 182 would feature the women’s championship bout, but apparently that’s not the case.
Originally, they were supposed to square off following a coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter season 18. But an ACL injury forced Zingano to withdraw. She was replaced by Miesha Tate who fought Rousey for the title at UFC 168.
Then Zingano suffered a personal tragedy when her husband took his own life, prolonging her return to the cage. “Alpha” Cat returned at UFC 178 and defeated Amanda Nunes to stake her claim as the division’s next title contender.
Rousey has successfully defended her belt four times in the UFC. Most recently, she almost topped Andrei Arlovski for the quickest finish in a championship fight when she demolished Alexis Davis in 16 seconds with strikes.
UFC 184 will take place on February 28, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca.