Minor knee surgery forces Chris Weidman to postpone May title defense until July

Kevin Iole

Middleweight champion Chris Weidman needs minor surgery on both of his knees to repair a bothersome meniscus, forcing the postponement of his title defense against Lyoto Machida until July 5 in Las Vegas, UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports Monday.

The Weidman-Machida fight had been planned as the main event for UFC 173 on May 24 at the MGM Grand Garden. But because of Weidman's knees, it will be pushed back until July at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

White said he and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta are working on a new main event for May 24, but said he had nothing to announce yet.

"This is something that's been bothering him for a while," White said. "The knee pops out and Lorenzo had told him a while ago to just get it taken care of and be done with it. He didn't do it, and unfortunately, it became more and more of a problem for him."

White said Weidman will need four-to-six weeks to recover from the surgery and said "we're very confident," he'll be healed in time to fight Machida, the former light heavyweight champion, on July 5 in the main event of UFC 175.

White said women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is not an option to replace Weidman in the UFC 173 main event. Rousey has obligations to her movie career planned.

"She would do it if we asked her, but she has a lot of [expletive] going on and I'm not going to ask her to do that," White said. "We'll find a good main event [for UFC 173] without asking her to do that."

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