Cain Velasquez will defend his UFC heavyweight title against Antonio Silva in the main event of UFC 160, while Alistair Overeem will take on Junior dos Santos in the May 25 co-headliner from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The bookings were announced during Tuesday’s episode of “UFC Tonight” on Fuel TV. No other contests have been revealed for the pay-per-view event.
Velasquez’s showdown with Silva will serve as a rematch of their one-sided UFC 146 showdown, in which Velasquez grounded and gashed Silva with devastating ground-and-pound en route to a first-round technical knockout. Velasquez returned to the cage in December, avenging his 2011 loss to dos Santos and recapturing his heavyweight title in a dominant five-round performance at UFC 155.
Three years older than the champion, Silva has posted back-to-back victories since his loss to Velasquez, finishing the previously unbeaten Travis Browne in October before defying bookmakers in his Feb. 2 showdown with Overeem. “Pezao” scored a third-round knockout in that UFC 156 collision, stopping a fatigued “Demolition Man” with a ferocious volley of punches just 25 seconds into the final frame.
That defeat marked the first in-cage setback for Overeem since 2007, when he was knocked out by Sergei Kharitonov. The former Strikeforce champion made his UFC debut with a first-round finish of former champion Brock Lesnar to close out 2011 but later failed a drug test ahead of a planned title shot against dos Santos at UFC 146. The results of that random test, which showed Overeem had elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels, prompted the Nevada Athletic Commission to suspend the heavyweight for nine months.
Dos Santos’ defeat to Velasquez in their rematch snapped a 10-fight winning streak for “Cigano,” during which the hard-hitting Brazilian bested the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin and Frank Mir. Known for his sharp boxing and powerful right hand, dos Santos owns 11 of his 15 victories by form of knockout and has gone the distance just thrice in his six years as a pro.