Antonio Silva won’t waste any time getting back to work when his suspension wraps up – and he apparently will be doing it at home in a rematch.
According to a report from Brazilian news outlet Globo, “Bigfoot” Silva (18-5 MMA, 2-2 UFC) will meet former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (22-10 MMA, 11-4 UFC) in September in his home city of Brasilia, Brazil’s capital, at UFC Fight Night 51.
Citing sources close to the UFC, Globo said verbal agreements for the bout are in place. A UFC official could not immediately confirm the bout to MMAjunkie.
UFC Fight Night 51 is set for Sept. 13 at Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia. It is not yet known if Silva-Arlovski will be the event’s headliner, but a high placement on the card is a certainty. The event is expected to air on FOX Sports 1 and stream on UFC Fight Pass, likely as a lead-in to the Season 20 premiere of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Silva and Arlovski first fought at a Strikeforce event in May 2010, a fight that Silva won by unanimous decision, part of Arlovski’s four-fight losing skid between 2009 and 2011.
Silva most recently fought this past December in a “Fight of the Year” candidate against Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 33 in Australia. The fight ended in a majority draw, but was overturned to a no-contest after Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and was suspended by the UFC for nine months. That suspension will be only a few days in the rearview mirror when UFC Fight Night 51 takes place. A little more than a year ago, on a two-fight winning streak, Silva challenge heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez for the title, but lost by first-round TKO.
Arlovski returned to the UFC for the first time in more than six years in June and took a somewhat controversial split decision from Brendan Schaub at UFC 174, giving him three wins in a row and five of his past six. After leaving the UFC in 2008, Arlovski fought for Afflicdtion, EliteXC, Strikeforce, ProElite, ONE FC and WSOF, among others, and eventually earned his way back to the promotion.