Sources have indicated to MMAWeekly.com as of Wednesday that Thiago Silva has been forced to withdraw from his upcoming fight at UFC 130, and will be replaced by none other that former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.[UPDATE] Thiago Silva is healthy, says it's not true via Tatame.com:
The Team Jackson fighter wasn’t seriously injured, and was expected to be ready to come back as early as May and it looks like he’ll get his wish.
Hearing the news, we contacted Thiago Silva by phone, and the fighter was surprised. "Injured? Me? I’m very healthy and looking forward to fighting Rampage. That’s not true."[UPDATE 2] Wolfslair is also in the dark via Fighters Only:
"Nobody called us about anything, the fight is on" said Conan Silveira, one of the leaders of American Top Team.
Jackson’s representatives at The Wolfslair also reacted with surprise when contacted by Fighters Only, saying it was the first they had heard of it.[UPDATE 3] Rashad not yet offered Rampage fight via @arielhelwani:
According to Rashad Evans' manager @malkikawa, Evans has not been offered a fight against Rampage Jackson at UFC 130.[UPDATE 4] More sources confirm the news via MMA Junkie and Fighters Only:
Multiple sources confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that preliminary discussions with Rashad Evans to replace Silva are underway.
Of significant potential interest, the Nevada State Athletic Commission has yet to release the drug screens from the night of Silva's most recent fight, a UFC 125 win over Brandon Vera that took place Jan. 1 in Las Vegas.
Nevada State Athletic Commision executive director Keith Kizer confirmed with MMAjunkie.com that the commission is still investigating at least one sample from the event. While Kizer could not confirm whether or not one of those samples belonged to Silva, the NSAC executive did confirm that Silva was among the UFC 125 fighters who submitted a pre-fight screen.
Fighters Only has been told that initial contact was indeed made with Rashad Evans about stepping in for Silva.More updates coming soon.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (31-8)
Win Lyoto Machida - Decision (Split) UFC 123
Loss Rashad Evans - Decision (Unanimous) UFC 114
Win Keith Jardine - Decision (Unanimous) UFC 96
Rashad "Suga" Evans (15-1-1)
Win Quinton Jackson - Decision (Unanimous) UFC 114
Win Thiago Silva - Decision (Unanimous) UFC 108
Loss Lyoto Machida - KO (Punches) UFC 98
Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) -135 vs. Gray Maynard (10-0-1) +105
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (31-8) vs. Rashad Evans (15-1-1)
Frank Mir (14-5) vs. Roy Nelson (15-5)
Thiago Alves (18-7) vs. Rick Story (12-3)
Stefan Struve (21-4) vs. Travis Browne (10-0-1)
Rashad Evans on:
- 0:23 How the injury happened
- 1:34 Not regretting waiting for the title shot
- 2:20 Jon Jones's potential
- 3:16 Jon Jones smashing Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
- 3:27 Why he won't fight Jon Jones (his teammate)
- 4:41 Almost fighting Quinton "Rampage" Jackson recently because Rampage slapped him
- 5:46 4 to 8 weeks of rehab