The UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva will make his long awaited return at UFC 112. Silva is scheduled to defend the title against former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort. Vitor Belfort’s management confirmed the fight this past week. The fight will be a co-headliner with a lightweight title defense by B.J. Penn and the return of a former champion on the undercard. Needless to say, UFC 112 show is shaping up to be one of the most stacked shows in UFC history.
Anderson Silva’s fight will end the longest layoff that the Spider has had since joining the UFC. Silva’s last fight was back at UFC 101 in August. Silva destroyed Forrest Griffin making the former champion look like a kid fresh off of TUF. Silva was next scheduled to defend his middleweight title against Dan Henderson. UFC called an audible and went with Vitor Belfort instead, citing that there wasn’t much fan interest in a Henderson-Silva rematch. An elbow injury subsequently forced Silva into surgery and something of a self-imposed exile from the UFC.
Once White said he was going with Belfort vs. Silva, Silva started talking about an elbow injury. Various rumors hit the Internet from Silva needing surgery and a lengthy leave of absence, to Silva fighting at UFC 108. Silva finally did have the surgery and the fight was put on hold. Belfort and Marquardt have both waited out the situation and neither man has fought since the number-one contender controversy arose. Marquardt will fight in the next few weeks, while Belfort has been idle. Dan Henderson turned down a fight with Marquardt during this mess which would have theoretically named a true number-one contender. All of this likely contributed to Henderson’s decision to sign with Strikeforce rather than re-sign with the UFC once his contract expired.
UFC 112 is shaping up to be one of the most loaded shows in the history of the UFC. The show is scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates which is a pretty amazing feat in itself. In addition to Silva-Belfort, B.J. Penn announced on his website that he is scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar on the show. While not a marquee fight by any means, it definitely has the potential to provide fireworks. Additionally, former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes is scheduled to make his long awaited return to the UFC. Hughes will face the legendary Renzo Gracie who will make his UFC debut at UFC 112.
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