Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva will make his return to the cage against the No. 8 ranked middleweight Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on Saturday and exhibited some of his striking skills at the open workouts in Brooklyn.
Silva, 41, last fought as a late-replacement against light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier in a non-title fight at UFC 200. ‘The Spider’ was out-wrestled by ‘DC’, and a lost a unanimous decision in a relatively lacklustre affair.
Silva’s last official win came against MMA veteran Stephan Bonnar in 2012 and the Brazilian looks to have lost a step or two since losing the middleweight title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162. Silva did pick up a decision win over Nick Diaz in 2015, but the result was overturned to a No Contest after it was revealed that he tested positive for steroids. Diaz was also suspended after one of his drug tests came back positive for marijuana metabolites.
Silva will look to spring back into the winner's column against Derek Brunson, who he fights in UFC 208’s co-main event.
Brunson, 33, rattled off five straight wins before losing to Robert Whittaker at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena last year. Brunson is known for his aggression, winning most of his bouts in the first round, but his overeagerness cost him against Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 101. Brunson would be wise to utilize a more measured approach against one of MMA’s greatest precision strikers in Silva at UFC 208.
The pay-per-view, which features a headlining women’s featherweight championship bout between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, takes place tomorrow night, Feb. 11, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.