I tell you, the world of mixed martial arts is a perpetual circus of pure entertainment. Truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Yesterday we had the literally-everybody-saw-it-coming announcement that Interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones had been spectacularly pulled from this weekend’s massive UFC 200 main event against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier due to a potential anti-doping violation flagged by USADA.
But just because Jones found himself at the foot of another (seemingly inevitable) personal fuckup doesn’t mean that Cormier should also miss his pay day from the event. So rumours began swirling about who a possible replacement could be; which fighter would be brave/silly/just crazy enough to step into the octagon in one of the highest-profile matches on the biggest card in the sport’s history?
The answer to that, as it turns out, is Anderson Silva.
Yes, that Anderson Silva. 41-year-old, 33-7, drug test failing, spider kicking, leg breakin’ ass-Anderson Silva.
UFC boss Dana White confirmed it’ll be Cormier vs Silva at Sunday’s (Australian time) event, with Silva stepping up from his usual middleweight stomping ground to fight at 205lbs – a weight class he’s fought at twice before.
Speaking to ESPN, White stated that the new bout will be “interesting,” and backed the definitely un-prepared Silva to do some damage.
“I think it’s an interesting, fun fight. Anderson Silva is undefeated at 205, and not just undefeated, but devastatingly undefeated. Every time he’s moved up to 205, he’s looked better than he did at 185.”
Again, he’s 2-0 at 205, and hasn’t fought at that weight since 2012. Matter of fact, Silva hasn’t (cleanly) won a fight in any weight class since his last fight at 205 against Stephen Bonnar.
Nevertheless, the fight is on: Three rounds, non-title (Silva requested it be non-title as he didn’t think he could go five rounds), at UFC 200.
Anderson Silva vs Daniel Cormier. Hooley bloody dooley.
In addition, White also announced that the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship fight between Meisha Tate and Amanda Nunes has been elevated to the main event of the card. The heavyweight slugfest between Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt will serve as the event’s co-headliner.
Let’s get it on.
Photo: Scott Heavey, Zuffa LLC/Getty.