Thanks to www.fightlinker.com for the perfect photo of Eilers.
Yep. Silva's apparently NOT going to be fighting Sergei Kharitonov as was expected in a recent discussion here in the FanPosts at BE. Nope. Elite XC decided that the best way to put on a legitimate heavyweight championship bout was to go out and line up a fight with UFC legend Justin Eilers.
In many ways it's hard to sum this up better than FightLinker did:
If you ever wanted to know why a lot of MMA fans treat you like you’re a joke, please refer to the Antonio Silva vs Justin Eilers booking on July 26th for the EliteXC heavyweight title.
PS: Are you on drugs?
MMA Mania is a bit more optimistic about this matchup, noting:
Eilers is probably most known among the casual fans for his three straight losses over a year’s span in the UFC. From February 2005 to February 2006 he dropped three fights — each by first round technical knockout — to Paul Buentello, Andrei Arlovski and Brandon Vera, respectively.
However, Eilers is on a very impressive streak as of late, having won 10 of his past 11fights with the lone loss a decision to the hard-hitting Pedro Rizzo last March at The Art of War 1. It seems as though he’s targeted and fixed whatever holes in his game were leading to those knockout losses, and he’s once again ready for the big stage.
Finally, MMA On Tap suggests that Shaw's "excuse" for not matching Silva up with Rogers, Nelson, or Kharitonov had to do with fighters not wanting the fight or wanting too much cash to take on Silva:
Unfortunately, compared to the many names that have been floated around as possible opponents for Silva, this one is a bit disappointing when one considers it will likely be a title fight. Rather than match Silva up against another EliteXC prospect like Brett Rogers, IFL Champion Roy Nelson, or Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov, they chose to sign Eilers for a title shot. Mr. Shaw says guys either refused the fight or priced themselves out of the market. IMO, none of the rumored opponents would have refused the fight. Thus pay was the only concern. If as Shaw’s father has stated many times, that the fighter’s are first and foremost in EliteXC, that’s pretty weak that they refused to pay for a legitimate title contender.
You can put me in the camp that thinks this is pretty weak. Maybe Eilers really has fixed his problems, but it seems to me that this is a fight that can't really help EXC too much. If Silva wins convincingly, it'll just be another example of putting one of its most recognizable heavyweights up against a sacrificial lamb. If Eilers finds a way to win against EXC's alleged best heavyweight, then you've got the promotion having a "champion" that was run out of the UFC because he couldn't last past the mid-way point of the first round in three consecutive fights.