MMAWeekly.com is reporting that Thiago Silva has been forced outof his UFC 130 bout with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, and the UFC has already found a replacement. Per the report, Rashad Evans will step in for Silva to meet Rampage in a rematch of their UFC 114 bout. However, Silva himself told Tatame.com that the reports of him being injured were not true, and he’s still planning on facing Rampage in May. “Injured? Me?” Silva asked. “I’m very healthy and looking forward to fighting Rampage. That’s not true.” Hmmm…well something is up. If the UFC is trying to pull Silva in favor of Rampage vs. Evans 2 then perhaps they should have let Thiago know. But to say that Silva is injured without asking him seems a bit overzealous. He says he isn’t, then I’d have to believe him. For me, as a fan, I’d rather watch Silva/Rampage than Evans/Rampage 2. Rashad turned that much hyped fight into a snoozefest. Eventually I want to see the rematch, but for now, I’d rather see something I haven’t seen.
Dana White told fans in Toronto on Tuesday that the UFC may beimplementing five round fights for non-title headliners in the near future. In a response to a fan question White replied, “We’ve talked about that before. There have been fights that we’ve been watching that are three round fights that we were like, ‘damn, this should have been a five round fight. It was the main event, and it should have been five. We can do it, we could make a [non-title] main event a five round fight and we’re probably going to start doing that.” Interesting. There are pros and cons to this. Some fights like Machida/Rampage and Henderson/Franklin warranted a five round affair. But not all fights do. It will be interesting to see if Dana actually plans on doing this or is just blowing smoke. Maybe they should do this for a #1 contenders match, to get the winner ready to fight the champion? I’d go for that.
Kenny Florian’s manager Malki Kawa told MMAWeekly.com that Florian hopes to get a top contender in his first bout in the featherweight (145lb) division, and then hopes to make a quick turnaround for a potential fight with Champion Jose Aldo when the UFC returns to Brazil. I don’t know about that Kenny. You haven’t exactly been on top of your game as of late. Maybe two wins at 145.
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After three straight losses, Tyson Griffin has decided to make a change, and is following in Kenny Florian’s footsteps. The longtime UFC lightweight (155lb) revealed on his personal website that he is making the drop to the featherweight (145lb) division this year. This is probably for the best. While he’s a pretty good fighter at 155, he is/was undersized. Now he’ll be fighting guys closer to his stature.
Strikeforce officials announced on Tuesday that Gilbert Melendez, their Lightweight Champion, has signed a new, multi-year deal and will continue his career for the time being in Strikeforce. Strikeforce must be shelling out the cash. They have locked up some of their more marketable fighters lately, even though those fighters have expressed interest in joining the UFC. Such a shame too, because I really wanted to see Melendez tested.