Breaking: In a shock move, UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva is set to make his return to the light-heavyweight division against perennial contender Stephan Bonnar at the UFC 153 main event next month.
The Rio de Janeiro card was originally slated to have UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo defending his title against Frankie Edgar, with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson facing Glover Texeira in the co-main event.
Injuries to both Aldo and Jackson announced early Wednesday put the card in jeopardy.
Texeira will now fight Fabio Maldonado in the co-main event.
“This is old school UFC,” said UFC president Dana White, strongly hinting at his recent problems with Jon Jones pulling out of a proposed fight with Chael Sonnen, and thus cancelling UFC 151.
“A card is in jeopardy, but guys that are world champions and superstars stepped up and jumped in and saved the card.
“This is why the fans love this sport and why we went on a 12-year run without cancelling an event.”
Silva’s next fight marks his return to 205lbs. His last outing in the division was a one-sided knockout victory over Bonnar’s TUF 1 rival Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.
Silva’s latest move certainly raises a few questions. Will he stay at 205lbs? Will he continue to defend his middleweight strap? Is a fight with light-heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones looming?
As for the impending Bonnar bout, common sense dictates that it will be an almost identical result to the Griffin fight.
Yet in a sport where a split-second misstep can end affairs abruptly, it still always pays to tune in.