A much-anticipated UFC Middleweight Championship rematch between Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Chael Sonnen will now take place at UFC 148 on July 7th in Las Vegas. UFC President Dana White confirmed the date change today during a press conference with both fighters in Brazil.
Silva and Sonnen were initially slated to face off at UFC 147 on June 23rd in Rio de Janeiro, but that card will now be moved to a new location in Brazil. The middleweight title fight is expected to headline the UFC 148 card, which also features a trilogy bout between Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber.
Silva (31-4-0) and Sonnen (27-11-1) first faced off at UFC 117 in August 2010. Sonnen dominated the bout through four-plus rounds before succumbing to a fifth-round triangle armbar from the champion. Sonnen subsequently sat out much of 2011 after a suspension for elevated levels of testosterone. He has battled back with victories over Brian Stann and Michael Bisping. Silva, meanwhile, defended his title twice in 2011 with stoppage wins over Brazilian rival Vitor Belfort and Japanese standout Yushin Okami. The champion now makes his next defence against the polarising Sonnen, but Silva will no longer have the opportunity to compete in his home country.
The UFC Bantamweight Championship trilogy bout between TUF Live coaches Cruz (19-1-0) and Faber (26-5-0) is now expected to co-headline the UFC 148 card. Faber defeated Cruz in the pair’s first meeting in 2007, but Cruz got a measure of revenge by defeating his adversary in the UFC 132 rematch this past July. Cruz now puts his title on the line in the rubber match.
UFC 148 takes place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC 148 Fight Card (to date; subject to change):
- Anderson “The Spider” Silva vs Chael Sonnen [UFC Middleweight title]
- Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz vs “The California Kid” Urijah Faber [UFC Bantamweight title]
- Rich “Ace” Franklin vs Cung Le
- Forrest Griffin vs “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Tito Ortiz
- Michael “The Count” Bisping vs Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
- Renan “Barao” Pegado vs “The Pride of El Salvador” Ivan Menjivar
- Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard vs Fabricio “Morango” Camoes
- Gleison Tibau vs Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov
- Demian Maia vs Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim
- Riki Fukuda vs Constantinos “Costa” Philippou
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)