According to a report from Jornal O Globo on Sunday morning, Anderson Silva is booked to return to the Octagon against Vitor Belfort at UFC 197 in March. UFC officials have yet to confirm the news.
After losing his UFC middleweight title to Chris Weidman and again in a rematch two years ago, Silva (33-6, 1 NC) returned to the promotion from a nasty leg break suffered in the Weidman rematch against Nick Diaz in the headliner of UFC 183 this past January. "The Spider" was able to take home the clear unanimous decision, but shortly after the Diaz contest, it was confirmed that Silva tested positive for banned substances and was later suspended for one year, retroactive to the Jan. 31 bout with Diaz.
Belfort (25-11) challenged current titleholder Weidman for the 185-pound championship earlier this year but suffered a devastating first-round TKO loss. The former UFC light heavyweight champion rebounded successfully, however, as earlier this month he headlined UFC Fight Night 77 in Brazil and picked up a TKO win against Dan Henderson. Vitor famously fought Silva for the middleweight belt at UFC 126, only to lose by front kick KO.
Silva vs. Belfort II is expected to headline the pay-per-view card.
UFC 197 takes place live from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 5.