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Anderson Silva Vs. Daniel Cormier Set For UFC 200

"The Spider" Anderson Silva Victor Affaro, via Flickr.


Anderson Silva Vs. Daniel Cormier Set For UFC 200

Jon Jones‘ being pulled from UFC 200 was pretty disheartening for fight fans, as he was set to face off against current Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier in a title unification bout. But, it looks like the masterminds at the UFC have found a way to get the fans back into the spectacle that is UFC 200.

At Wednesday’s press conference, UFC President Dana White expressed that while he would have liked to find Cormier another opponent, finding one would provide a challenge in such short notice. However, in speaking with ESPN, White confirmed that former middleweight champion, “The Spider” Anderson Silva, would face off with Cormier in a three-round non-title light heavyweight fight.

At age 41, Silva (33-7) has fought three times at the 205 lbs., once against James Irvin in July 2008, once against Forrest Griffin in August 2009, and once against Stephan Bonner in October 2012, beating all by knockout in the first round.

White conveyed high hopes for Cormier-Silva, and believed that it more than makes up for the loss of Jones. Said White:

“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.”

The surprise bout came last night, before today’s weigh-ins for UFC 200, and was made into the three-rounder because Silva is fighting on two days’ notice. Had the Jones’ decision come a bit earlier, it quite possibly could have gained an extra couple of rounds. White continued:

“Anderson is giving Daniel the opportunity to fight, to make money and to perform on UFC 200. So if Anderson wants three rounds, if Anderson wants two rounds, he’ll get it.”

Now, of course, in order for Silva to fight, he does need to get a final medical clearance by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but, the UFC is confident that Silva will be cleared to go.

After Silva’s loss to Michael Bisping in February, he was scheduled to fight in May against Uriah Hall at UFC 198, but was forced to pull out the week of the fight, citing abdominal pain. He went to the hospital and had surgery to remove his gall bladder later in the week.

Two months removed from surgery, Silva expressed a desire to help the UFC in any way that he could. And with the loss of Jones, it seemed like the right opportunity to do so. Said Silva, through a translator:

“I haven’t trained in a few months, but I think I’m in good condition to go in there and put on a good fight”

Silva has been on a bit of a slump after his victory against Bonner. He had defeated Nick Diaz at UFC 183 in January of 2015, but the result would later be overturned when Silva tested positive for steroids in multiple drug tests.

Along with Silva, White and the UFC had two other options to put up against Cormier, one being Gerard Mousasi, while the other was Dan Henderson. Mousasi was a definite no-go, since he was already booked on the card, and the promotion has other plans for Henderson, so he was a no-go, as well.

To take the place of Cormier-Jones as a co-headliner to Brock Lesnar-Mark Hunt, Miesha Tate defends her bantamweight title against Amanda Nunes.

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