The whirlwind surrounding UFC 200 and Daniel Cormier is coming to an end. Anderson Silva will step in on short notice to replace Jon Jones UFC president Dana White confirmed on Wednesday. Cormier and Jones were originally slated to be the main event of the anniversary event, but a failed drug test forced Jones off the card.
The report was originally made by Globo, and quickly denied by White. During an impromptu press conference after UFC Fight Night 90, White said that at the time of Globo’s report a bout wasn’t made, and instead came to fruition during the event.
The fight will be at light heavyweight, 20 pounds higher than the weight Silva typically fights at but it saves him from trying to cut weight drastically in a day. Cormier was already cutting weight for the title bout, so there were no issues there.
The fight also will be for three rounds, meaning that the light heavyweight title won’t be on the line. White clarified that this was Silva’s decision.
White added that he fielded calls from multiple fighters, including Dan Henderson, but said the UFC has plans for him hinting at a middleweight title bout with Michael Bisping. White also added that a win over Cormier could earn Silva a middleweight title shot against Bisping, a rematch of their February match that many thought Silva won despite Bisping walking away with the decision.
Silva, who hasn’t won a fight since 2012, is also coming into this fight roughly two months removed from gall bladder surgery, making the bout all the more improbable. During the press conference, Silva admitted that he hasn’t trained much over the past couple of months but did say he sparred this week.