With opposing TUF 10 coach Quinton “Rampage” Jackson out for the indefinite future after calling it quits earlier this week, Rashad Evans will instead fight Thiago Silva in “December or early next year,” according to MMA Fanhouse, possibly at UFC 108 on January 2 in Las Vegas.
Evans (13-1-1), following 12-straight wins to begin his career over the likes of Michael Bisping and Chuck Liddell, won the UFC light heavyweight championship last December with a third-round knockout of Forrest Griffin. In his first title defense, Evans was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in May before appearing with “Rampage” as rival coaches on The Ultimate Fighter 10: Heavyweights.
“Thiago Silva is a good fighter, I’d like to fight him and I think he wants to fight me. When I saw him after he fought Keith Jardine, he kind of gave me a nasty look that I interpreted like he wanted to take me on, and I’d like that,” Evans told Fanhouse. “I think I match up really well with Thiago Silva. He’s a great striker, and I love his focus. He’s going to be a challenge, and that’s the kind of fight I want.”
After 4-straight UFC wins improved his career mark to 13-0, Silva (14-1) was matched up against fellow 205-pound contender Lyoto Machida in January but suffered a first-round knockout that propelled Machida into winning the light heavyweight belt from Evans. Silva bounced back last month at UFC 102 with a first-round knockout of Keith Jardine,
The matchup between Evans and Silva is the first rumored for the UFC’s tradition year-end card, which takes place this year on January 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.