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Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort and more confirmed for Super Bowl Weekend

Few Saturdays are as synonymous with the UFC putting on a major event as the card offered annually on Super Bowl weekend. With past years providing action featuring Randy Couture, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Frank Edgar, and a number of the sport’s biggest stars, 2011 will be no exception as the UFC has officially announced a trio of main card bouts with a current champion, three former title-holders, and two of the brightest young stars in the light heavyweight division.

As expected, Anderson Silva will put his middleweight belt up for grabs against former 205-pound champ Vitor Belfort in the evening’s headlining match-up on February 5 at UFC 126.

“This is a fight I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” Silva said of his upcoming defense against Belfort. “Vitor is a very talented striker and a tough competitor. I am training very hard and I know that the fight could go anywhere, but I expect a standup war. I also want to say that I’m very excited to be fighting in Las Vegas again. I have a lot of fans in Vegas and it’s been a while since I’ve fought there. The fans are always very loud in Las Vegas and I feed off that energy.”

“UFC fans expect big things from us every year for our Super Bowl weekend show, and this year could be our biggest ever,” an equally excited Dana White said. “Silva vs. Belfort is a fight fan’s dream match. It’s a fight people have wanted for years. Don’t blink because both of these guys have dynamite in their hands and can end the night quickly and in very exciting fashion.”

Also slated for action against each other are two of the UFC’s most-popular fighters, as well as former champions in their own right, Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin. Griffin has not fought since his split decision win over Tito Ortiz in November 2009 and will no doubt be anxious to engage with “Ace” once the cage door closes.

In addition to Griffin vs. Franklin, the UFC confirmed another pair of light heavyweights would be facing off at the event – Jon Jones and Ryan Bader. Bader is currently undefeated in thirteen professional appearances, while Jones’ only loss was the result of landing an ultimately meaningless illegal elbow in the process of pounding Matt Hamill out last December and being disqualified. Both are coming off impressive victories, albeit of a different variety. Bader out-pointed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 119 in September, while Jones has back-to-back first round TKOs over Brandon Vera and Vladimir Matyushenko since the disappointing “DQ” defeat to Hamill.

  • Dachman says:

    Awesome card I can’t wait. The fight I most want to see is Jones v Bader. Mostly because I love watching Jones. I don’t think Bader will be able to take or keep Jones down and on their feet Jones is going to own him!

  • stone says:

    With all the ups n downs of his life & career… How awesome would it be to see Vitor Belfort KO A.Silva for the 185 strap?… VITOR BELFORT ALL THE WAY!

  • MCM says:

    This card is STACKED. Six current or former Zuffa champions and a couple of future champs as well. Man I hope it lives up to the hype, cause I’m pumped for this one.

  • Rece Rock says:

    guaranteed Million + buys…

  • fanoftna33 says:

    The best part of all three of these fights is the it could literally go either way, not 1 of these fights is a mismatch and that is what makes for truly exciting fights.

  • mma.Australia says:

    Its the beginning of the Jon Jones era! Alright, all Joe Rogan bullocks aside, I’m frightened of Jon Jones. His talent haunts my dreams!

    He’s not normal, and whilst its wise to wait to see him tested by a contender, Rashad, Rampage, Machida level… damn he looks the business!

  • mu_shin says:

    I know Vitor has a lot of fans, and deservedly so. He’s fought some good fights in his return to prominence, with I believe three knockout victories in a row, but Anderson Silva is a whole other commodity…

    If Vitor attacks primarily in the stand-up arena, he’s going against one of the most advanced strikers in all of MMA, whose speed, ability to slip punches, and punching power have been demonstrated many times. I don’t think Belfort has the wrestling chops of Chael Sonnen, and even with the advantage Sonnen was able to build over four rounds, he couldn’t finish the champion, so it’s doubtful Belfort will prevail on the ground.

    As has often been the case, we have to wonder what Anderson Silva will show up on fight day, how motivated he’s been in his training, and how his mental state will affect his gameplan in this match-up. No doubt in my mind Silva has the fire power and the cage savvy to meet Belfort head on standing, in the clinch, and on the mat, but will he choose to fully engage on fight day? I certainly hope so, and think if he does, I think the belt remains in Silva’s hands, but look forward to a strong concerted effort from this decorated challenger.

  • JOEgun says:

    Awesoms card!! Cant effin wait!

    Anderson has yet to fight someone with hands like Vitor and, Vitor has yet to fight someone with hands like Anderson, and its for the title! thats what makes this fight so damn exciting!

    I remember Jon Anik read my email on MMALive on ESPN calling for the Franklin vs Griffin matchup, but that was last year. Glad these guys are finally gonna throwdown, its gonna be a war!!

    I have no doubts Jones takes out Bader

  • fanoftna33 says:

    MU Shin- good post my take is that after seeing a guy like Sonnen, who isnt a polished striker like Vitor get the better of Anderson standing in round 1, I think Vitor has better than even odds to win this fight in the first round. We all know Anderson likes to gage his opponents for the first few minutes and this is the perfect time for Belfort to go for broke and really put it on Anderson.
    Now maybe Anderson was taken by surprise by Sonnen’s strikes and will be looking for them this time, I dont know, but for me the first 5 minutes of this fight are going to be very exciting.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I think Belfort is better at wrestling, boxing and BJJ than Silva (who I reckon is a little overrated considering he is touted as the best fighter in the world). I think it all depends on the Vitor that turns up. If the best Vitor turns up, he will win but as we have seen in the past, the good Vitor seldom appears.


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