Former middleweight champion Chris Weidman said it was a dream to one day fight at Nassau Coliseum near his home on Long Island, New York.
Now he’ll get his chance.
Weidman will face rising middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum in the main event at FOX UFC Fight Night on July 22 in New York.
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The new matchup was announced as part of the UFC’s Summer Kickoff press conference on Friday.
Weidman (13-3) will have to contain his excitement about fighting close to home as he attempts to stave off a four fight losing streak when he returns in July.
The former champion has fallen on harder times lately with three straight TKO losses, although the most recent defeat to Gegard Mousasi came in controversial fashion after the fight was stopped due to a pair of knee strikes that the referee deemed illegal. The knees landed were actually legal and rather than restarting the fight, Weidman was deemed unable to continue and the bout was stopped.
As for Gastelum (13-2, 1 NC), the fight will serve as his third straight bout since returning to the middleweight division.
Gastelum was originally supposed to face Anderson Silva at UFC 212 in Brazil but he tested positive for marijuana following his last bout against Vitor Belfort in March before he was suspended 90 days for the infraction.
Now Gastelum will look to maintain his current momentum against another former champion in Weidman as he steps into enemy territory for the matchup in New York in a five round bout.