It looks like the UFC will start 2011 out with a bang, substituting the pyrotechnics from New Year’s Eve for fireworks of a more-physical kind the following evening at UFC 125 in Las Vegas. Already rumored to be headlined by the rematch between Chael Sonnen and 185-pound champ Anderson Silva, the event now looks to also be hosting a clash between respected light heavyweights Brandon Vera and Thiago Silva.
News of the fight, in which both men will be looking to right their proverbial ships, was reported by MMAJunkie.
The match-up against Vera will mark almost exactly a year to the day since Silva last stepped foot in the Octagon, a hard-fought decision loss to Rashad Evans at UFC 108. Though he was previously scheduled to compete against Tim Boetsch at UFC 117, the 14-2 Brazilian pulled out of the event on short notice with an affliction causing him to “lose movement” in his right leg.
“The Truth” will also be returning to the ring after an extended injury-related layoff when the cage-door closes at UFC 125. Vera last competed in March against Jon Jones and had three bones in his face broken as the result of a fight-finishing elbow keeping him out of action since. The TKO was his second consecutive defeat, the first coming by decision to Randy Couture in November 2009, and the fifth of his sixteen-bout career.
Both light heavyweights should offer up an exciting display at the event for fans in attendance and tuning in at home. Vera and Silva are both quite capable on the ground, but are known more for rendering opponents unconscious rather than tapping them out. Of their twenty-five combined wins, eighteen have come by way of TKO (not to mention a strike-based submission for American Top Team’s Silva).