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Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum official for UFC's Shanghai debut main event


A fight that was supposed to happen a couple times already now is official to headline the UFC’s visit to Shanghai this fall.

Former UFC middleweight champion and all-time great Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) will take on Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the headliner of the UFC’s debut in mainland China, set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Nov. 25. UFC officials confirmed the previously reported fight overnight.

Kelvin Gastelum

The pair originally was set to meet at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, but Gastelum had to be pulled from the bout after testing positive for marijuana metabolites in a test stemming from a previous bout with Vitor Belfort. A suitable replacement couldn’t be found for Silva, who ended up off the card altogether.

Gastelum then suggested a meeting in Long Island, New York, at UFC on FOX 25 less than a month ago. Gastelum got a spot on the show, but fought another ex-champ – Chris Weidman. Gastelum suffered a third-round submission, which was his first loss since a split-decision setback to Neil Magny in 2015.

The fight will be Silva’s first appearance since February, when a close decision win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 snapped a four-fight losing skid. Silva had a decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 later overturned after both fighters failed doping tests, and his two fights before that were title-fight losses to Chris Weidman. His win over Brunson was his first victory since October 2012 against Stephan Bonnar.

Before his title-costing loss to Weidman, however, the record-breaking former champion was on a 17-fight victorious run. Silva still is widely considered one of the best to ever grace the cage.

For more on UFC Fight Night in Shanghai, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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