In a recently added fight to Saturday night's UFC 200 pay-per-view, UFC light-heavweight champion Daniel Cormier (17-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) takes on late replacement fighter Anderson Silva (33-7(1) MMA, 16-3(1) UFC). This special 3 round Light Heavyweight non-title fight was signed just this week after original Cormier opponent Jon Jones failed a drug test and was pulled from the card. The official UFC rankings has Cormier ranked at #7 pound for pound. Silva's only ranking comes at Middleweight, where he is #5.
Fans were anticipating the big Jones vs. Cormier II main event here at UFC 200, but this is an interesting late replacement fight, with one of MMA's greatest of all time stepping in to create a classic striker vs grappler clash (something of a theme on the main card tonight). The main card for UFC 200 airs on pay-per-view on Saturday, July 9th at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.
How do these two stack up?
Cormier: 37 years old | 5'11" | 72.5" reach
Silva: 41 years old | 6'2" | 77.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
Cormier: W - Alexander Gustafsson (SD) | W - Anthony Johnson(SUB) | W - Jon Jones(UD)
Silva: L - Michael Bisping (UD) | NC - Nick Diaz | L - Chris Weidman (TKO)
How did these two get here?
The time since Jones vs. Cormier I has been good to Daniel Cormier. After Jon Jones was suspended and stripped of his title, Daniel Cormier jumped in to fight Anthony Johnson on short notice and took home the title by choking out the powerful Blackzillian. In Cormier's first title defense he faced Alexander Gustafsson and put on one of the most impressive performances of his career. Cormier has looked great in the 18-months following his fight with Jon Jones and he will be looking to continue this streak on Saturday night.
Anderson Silva is undeniably one of the top, if not THE top fighter in MMA history. His striking is the stuff of legend, and his UFC Middleweight title run stands firm in the record books. But since losing that title to Chris Weidman 3 years ago, he's been injured severely, tested positive for banned substances, and dropped a decision to now-champion Bisping. He's still one of the greatest of all time, but how much remains in the tank? Though his greatest successes came at Middleweight, 205 is not uncharted territory for the Spider - he has a 3-0 record at Light Heavyweight in the UFC, including his incredible destruction of Forrest Griffin way back at UFC 101.
Why should I care?
No, it's not Jones vs. Cormier, but this should be an entertaining fight regardless. Plus, you aren't going to get too many more opportunities to see Silva in action. Sit back and enjoy.