UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will defend his title against Chael Sonnen on Aug. 7 in Oakland, Calif., the UFC announced Thursday.

The bout will headline UFC 117 at the Oracle Arena.

In the co-main event, Matt Hughes will take on Ricardo Almeida in a welterweight bout. The UFC also announced a lightweight matchup between Clay Guida and Rafael dos Anjos.

“When we offered Chael Sonnen this shot at the title, he promised us one thing: that he was going to make this a fight,” UFC President Dana White said in a news release.

Sonnen, the No. 2-ranked middleweight, has won three straight bouts in the UFC, including a unanimous decision over Nate Marquardt in February at UFC 109.

“He’s been ducking me for four years,” Sonnen said of Silva in the news release. “This fight is a large part about the title and a large part about him. We’re not going to be friends. He’s not my kind of guy. But this fight is also to prove a point to the rest of the guys in the division. One guy has challenged him in four years and it’s been me.”

Silva has won all 11 of his UFC bouts. He is 26-4 overall and ranked by Sherdog.com as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“Chael is a very good fighter,” Silva said. “I am training very hard with my team, and Minotauro Nogueira and Lyoto Machida, and I will be ready. This is a title fight and I expect him to be ready because I know I will be. If the guy wants to talk, that’s fine. It’s a lot different inside the Octagon.”


Anderson Silva (No. 1 MW, No. 1 PFP) vs. Chael Sonnen (No. 2 MW)

Jon Fitch (No. 2 WW, No. 5 PFP) vs. Thiago Alves (No. 3 WW)*
Junior dos Santos (No. 6 HW) vs. Roy Nelson *
Matt Hughes vs. Ricardo Almeida
Dustin Hazelett vs. Rick Story *
Ben Saunders vs. Dennis Hallman *
Clay Guida vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Johny Hendricks vs. Charlie Brenneman *

* - Matchup has not been officially announced.

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