It looks like Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans are going to get an opportunity to finish what they started at a Vegas nightclub last weekend. MMA Weekly is reporting that Rashad Evans will step in for Thiago Silva at UFC 130 and take on Rampage Jackson in a rematch from their UFC 114 meeting last year.
Sources have indicated to MMAWeekly.com as of Wednesday that Thiago Silva has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight at UFC 130, and will be replaced by none other that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
Neither Evan’s co-manager Malki Kawa or Jackson’s representatives could be reached for comment, but sources close to the bout confirmed that it will be Evans that steps into the UFC 130 fight.
Reasons weren’t given for Silva’s sudden withdrawal, but it sounds like an injury.
While I’m sure some of you were looking forward to Rampage Jackson vs. Thiago Silva, this change arguably strengthens an already stacked card that includes Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard III, Frank Mir vs. Roy Nelson, Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story and possibly Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann. It’s going to be a heck of a Memorial Day Weekend in Vegas.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Okay, this is odd. Thiago Silva is telling Tatame.com that he’s perfectly fine and still fighting Rampage.
Rashad Evans in for Thiago Silva against Rampage Jackson? Not so fast. According to the Brazilian fighter, the recent news of an “injury” are not true, and he’s fighting Rampage at UFC 130. “Injured? Me? I’m very healthy and looking forward to fight Rampage. That’s not true”, Thiago told TATAME, supported by ATT’s Conan Silveira. “Nobody called us about anything, the fight is on”. Stay tuned for more news.
I’ll keep you posted.
Update 2: The situation is still unclear as described in MMA Junkie’s update.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has confirmed with multiple sources close to the event that Silva’s participation in the May 28 card is in jeopardy, despite the fighter’s insistence that all is well on the home front.
However, multiple sources confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that preliminary discussions with Rashad Evans (15-1-1 MMA, 10-1-1 UFC) to replace Silva are underway, though it’s far too early to consider the rematch a done deal.
However, another MMA Junkie report provides a hint as to what may be going on with Silva.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today e-mailed the drug-testing results to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com), and he noted that the commission is “still processing another athlete’s urine sample from [UFC 125].”
As MMAjunkie.com reported earlier today, Kizer confirmed that main-card loser Thiago Silva also submitted a pre-fight drug screen at UFC 125, which indicates the outstanding drug test likely belongs to the Brazilian slugger. However, Kizer was unable to confirm that Silva’s specimen was the sample that was “still processing,” or what that status might indicate.
It has yet to be confirmed or even explicitly mentioned, but reading between the lines, it sounds like Silva may have failed a drug test. While I stress that can’t be considered anything more than a rumor at this point, it would explain why he would be pulled from UFC 130 without injury.
“Looks like (the NSAC) did two tests, one was positive and the other negative. My blood is clean, I’m calm, took nothing.”
This could mean one of his samples was merely tainted, but it might not. So far we only have Silva’s word. Not sure what this means for UFC 130. There are surely more details to come.