Following the removal of Alistair Overeem from the card, and moving former champion Frank Mir into his slot to face Junior Dos Santos, there was a vacancy to face Cain Velasquez on the same show.
Now it appears that former Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix fighter Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva has been tabbed as the replacement to step in and face Velasquez on May 26.
UFC President Dana White revealed the news via Twitter on Sunday.
“Don’t believe any of the BS you read on the internet,” wrote White. “Cain (Velasquez) is fighting Bigfoot Silva May 26th in Vegas.”
Silva was originally set to face former Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson on the all heavyweight main card, but instead he’ll get the chance to face Velasquez in a pivotal fight in the UFC’s biggest division.
Silva enters the fight coming off a loss to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce Grand Prix semifinals. Prior to that loss, Silva had dismantled former heavyweight and pound-for-pound king Fedor Emelianenko to mark the biggest win of his career.
The giant Brazilian has also returned to his roots as he mended fences and headed back to American Top Team after exiting the camp in 2011.
With Silva stepping in to face Velasquez, the vacancy on the show now shifts over to Roy Nelson who sits on the UFC 146 main card without an opponent.
White stated on Saturday that they hoped to have the final card put together in the coming days.
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