Wanderlei Silva Returns to Japan in March, Headlines UFC on Fuel TV 8 Opposite Brian Stann


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Wanderlei Silva will compete on Japanese soil for the first time in six years when he faces Brian Stann in a light heavyweight headliner at UFC on Fuel TV 8.

Promotion officials announced the booking on Wednesday night, officially confirming seven additional contests for the March 3 event, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena. Prior to the evening’s main event, the show will see former Pride lightweight champion Takanori Gomi face “Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez, while welterweight knockout artist Siyar Bahadurzada locks horns with Korean judoka Dong Hyun Kim.

The event also features middleweights Riki Fukuda and Brad Tavares, as well as lightweights Cristiano Marcello and Kazuki Tokudome. A pair of bantamweight confrontations rounds out the announced bouts, as former WEC title challenger Takeya Mizugaki meets Bryan Caraway and Alex Caceres faces Road FC champion Kyung Ho Kang. Promotion officials also verified a previously announced heavyweight showdown between power puncher Mark Hunt and lanky prospect Stefan Struve.

Silva, 36, has not competed since June 23, when he was outpointed by ex-UFC middleweight ruler Rich Franklin in a 190-pound catchweight bout at UFC 148. The setback marked Silva’s second loss in three fights, as “The Axe Murderer” kicked off last year with a 27-second knockout defeat to heavy-handed southpaw Chris Leben. Silva rebounded in his next outing, however, stopping former Strikeforce titlist Cung Le via second-round strikes at UFC 139.

Four years younger than his opponent, Stann has also lost two of his last three. The former WEC light heavyweight champion cut to middleweight in 2010 and posted three straight wins before submitting to a Chael Sonnen arm-triangle choke 14 months ago at UFC 136. Though the “All-American” then made quick work of Alessio Sakara to kick of 2012, he was outpointed by Michael Bisping in his most recent fight, dropping a unanimous decision to the Brit at UFC 152.

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