According to MMA Junkie, Thiago Silva might be being replaced by Anderson Silva to take on Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in August, live from Philadelphia.
There had been talk that the UFC was looking to test ‘The Spider’ again, perhaps against the stacked 205 pound weight class, and it looks like they will be doing just that.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship will apparently scrap a UFC 101 bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin (16-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) and top contender Thiago Silva (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) in favor of a Griffin vs. Anderson Silva (24-4 MMA, 9-0 UFC) match-up.
Although the fight is now close to official (but not signed), a source close to Thiago Silva told MMAjunkie.com the fighter was unaware his fight with Griffin had been scratched. Even as of this morning, the fighter was apparently under the impression he was still scheduled to fight Griffin at UFC 101. The source isn’t sure if Thiago Silva will remain on the UFC 101 card with a new opponent or if he’ll be shifted to another event.
If this rumor holds true, this is a huge fight for both men. Obviously, Thiago Silva is the odd man out, but this proposed bout will do much better business for the UFC. After Anderson Silva’s last two performances, the UFC needs to put him in the Octagon with another fan favorite. In this regard, Forrest Griffin definitely fits the profile.
I am surprised, however, that the UFC is contemplating matching up two of the organizations biggest draws when both men seemingly both need impressive wins in their next outing to remain at the top of the heap. Silva, for the fact that he has been chastised as of late for a couple of poor performances, and Griffin, for the fact that he is coming off a loss to current champion of the division, Rashad Evans. A loss in their next fight won’t look very good for either man.
A win by Anderson Silva at UFC 101 could set up the superfight that many fans are asking for in the near future, as well. With Georges St. Pierre facing Thiago Alves one month earlier at UFC 100, both men, if victorious, could be staring a match with each other straight in the face. Who knows, maybe the UFC will be looking for a couple of new coaches for the next season of TUF as well, giving GSP a few extra months to put on the extra weight needed to take on Silva at 185.
Canada vs. Brazil anyone? My fingers are crosses, that’s for sure.
Update: Bloody Elbow is reporting that this fight might not be moving ahead.
Junkie has broken stories with their “sources” in the past, but someone close to Forrest just posted on the UG that Forrest has been in contact with him and this fight is absolutely not happening.
Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White made good on his promise to land a significant fight for suddenly under siege middleweight champion Anderson Silva, telling Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that he had signed a deal for Silva to face ex-light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin in the co-main event of UFC 101 in Philadelphia on Aug. 2.
Update 3 (Steve): In the same Iole article, both Dana White and Ed Soares said Anderson wants a fight with Fedor Emelianenko. It’s worth noting that a month ago, Anderson didn’t seem interested at all in fighting the heavyweight king. Did he change his mind or is this all just promoter/manager talk? Also, Dana reaffirmed that Bisping will fight for the title if he beats Dan Henderson, and said he’s working on signing another middleweight fight that “will blow people’s minds.” Wanderlei Silva maybe?
Update 4 (Steve): UFC.com makes it official.