UFC 108: Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort Preview

UFC 108: Anderson Silva vs Vitor Belfort agree to fight in Las Vegas on Jan. 2: “

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Move over Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt … it looks like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has finally decided on the next middleweight contender to challenge its reigning division champion, Anderson Silva.

Los Angeles Times reports that former light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort has verbally agreed to saunter into “The Spider” web at UFC 108, which is scheduled to take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Jan. 2, 2010.

Henderson actually appeared to be the front runner to challenge Silva after his most recent — and emphatic — victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100. Company president Dana White indicated that it was enough to earn him another crack at the Brazilian; however, his manager, Ed Soares, made the case that Henderson should take on Nate Marquardt first to determine a clear-cut contender.

That now appears to be the plan. And it’s likely that the recent addition of Belfort to the 185-pound roster had a lot to do with it.

“The Phenom” is coming off a first round destruction of former division champ Rich Franklin on Sept. 19 in Dallas. The stoppage — coupled with his two devastating knockout wins under the Affliction banner — were enough to convince White that “The Old Vitor” is back and ready to face his fellow countryman.

It’s a tall order, considering Silva hasn’t really lost in more than five years (sans a disqualification loss to Yushin Okami in 2006), and he’s essentially obliterated the middleweight division since entering the Zuffa fold in mid 2006.

In fact, he’s been so good that White and Co. have started to match him up against 205-pound fighters to give him more of a challenge. He passed with flying colors, sending former champion Forrest Griffin running for the hills and pasting James Irvin with a highlight-reel, fighting-ending combination.

Silva has not had a solid (perhaps trademark is a better term) performance in the middleweight division since he submitted Henderson at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” back in March 2008. He’s had two forgettable — albeit winning — fights against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites since that time.

It’s safe to say that the promotion is looking to Belfort to bring the excitement back to the middleweight division … win, lose or draw.

UFC 108 is expected to serve as the promotion’s traditional “year-end” event because the Christmas holiday falls on the last weekend of 2009. No other potential match ups are known at this time; however, UFC typically likes to go out with a bang so expect more goodness in the near future.

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(Photo) Hilarious Photo Of Anderson Silva Doing Post Fight Dance As Opponent Is Dragging His Butt Off The Canvas In Background

Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort Planned for UFC 108: ”

Anderson Silva Defeats James IrvinUFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will return to the Octagon to take on Vitor Belfort at UFC 108 on January 2 in Las Vegas, according to the LA Times, which confirmed with UFC President Dana White that both fighters have verbally agreed to the co-headlining matchup.

Silva (25-4) has gone undefeated since early-2006, winning a record 10-straight UFC fights over the likes of Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, and Nate Marquardt. “The Spider,” who recently underwent surgery on his elbow, returns to 185-pounds to take on Belfort after moving up to light heavyweight in August, where he recorded a first-round knockout of Forrest Griffin.

Belfort (19-8), the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament winner and former light heavyweight champion, returned to the UFC earlier this month with a first-round knockout of Rich Franklin at UFC 103. “The Phenom” has now won five-straight, including previous back-to-back knockouts of Terry Martin and Matt Lindland in Affliction.

UFC 108, the UFC’s traditional year-end show which airs live on pay-per-view, is also expected to include a matchup between former light heavyweight champ Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva.

For the latest UFC 108 news and UFC 108 rumors stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.com.

UFC’s Dana White Feels Vitor Belfort Ready For Anderson Silva After Rich Franklin Defeat

Dana White: Vitor Belfort is ready to fight Anderson Silva: ”

“The question that I had coming into this fight was, ‘What Vitor were we gonna see? The explosive Vitor that wants to get somebody hurt, who goes right after them, or the Vitor that lays back and couldn’t pull the trigger? He pulled the trigger tonight, and as soon as he hurt [Franklin], he went right in for the kill. Vitor is a 185-pound fighter, that’s his weight division. To be honest with you, the way that the last two fights happened with Marquardt and Henderson against Anderson Silva, I think it would be better to see them fight each other, and the winner of that become the next contender. I think Vitor’s ready. I think Vitor’s ready to fight Anderson Silva.”

– UFC President Dana White sounds off during the UFC 103 post fight press conference on the future of Vitor Belfort in the middleweight division — specifically his place in line for the 185-pound crown, currently held by fellow Brazilian Anderson Silva. “The Phenom” is coming off a first round destruction of former division champ Rich Franklin on Sept. 19 in Dallas. The stoppage — coupled with his wins in Affliction — were enough to convince White that “The Old Vitor” is back and ready to face “The Spider.” But was it enough to convince the fans? Opinions please.