“The bout between Rashad Evans
and Thiago Silva
is a fight we always talked about as a main event, and now these
guys have the chance to headline UFC
108 and kick off the new year in impressive fashion," UFC
President Dana White said in a news release. "At the same time, we
wish Antonio Nogueira a speedy recovery and can't wait for his
The fight, scheduled for Jan. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Las Vegas, is Evans’ first since losing his light heavyweight title
Machida in May.
“Being able to get right back in the mix and right back into a main
event is an honor,” Evans said. “This is the first step in getting
my title back. Thiago is a dangerous fighter standing up and on the
ground and I always relish an opportunity to fight the best and put
on a great show for the fans.”
Silva stopped Evans’ teammate Keith Jardine
in August at UFC 102. He is 5-1 in the UFC.
“I feel that the bigger the fight, the better I do,” Silva said.
“Being in the main event for a UFC card has always been a goal of
mine. Rashad is a great fighter, but he’d better come prepared in
all aspects of mixed martial arts.”
Nogueira withdrew from the Velasquez bout due to a staph infection
on his left elbow. According to the UFC news release, Nogueira must
undergo treatment for at least three weeks.
“I am so disappointed,” Nogueira said. “I am sorry to my fans, but
I have learned from my mistakes, and I’m not going into a fight
unless I can give 100 percent my best performance. I have to be in
top form, and then I can guarantee an exciting fight, a battle like
what they saw at UFC 102. I appreciate all the fans around the
world who are supporting me right now so much, and my next fight, a
great fight, I give to them.”