Wanderlei Silva, who had been expected to meet Yoshihiro Akiyama in the main event of UFC 110 on February 21 in Sydney, Australia, is now likely to make his middleweight debut against Michael Bisping in the UFC 110 headliner, as Fighters Only reports that the pair have verbally agreed to the bout.
The matchup between Silva and Akiyama was first reported in October, but was put in doubt last week when UFC President Dana White revealed that the promotion was “moving things around” following a rash of injuries suffered by many of their top fighters.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira may return to the Octagon against fellow heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez in the UFC 110 co-main event, though welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre’s upcoming title defense against Dan Hardy, which White recently mentioned as a possibility for the event, is now expected to take place on a different card.
Silva (32-10-1), the former PRIDE 205-pound champion, followed up a May 2008 knockout of Keith Jardine with back-to-back losses to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rich Franklin, but heads to middleweight for a fresh start after dropping five of his last six fights.
Bisping (18-2), the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 3, dropped down to middleweight in 2008 and won three-straight before suffering a knockout loss to Dan Henderson in July. The bounced back earlier this month with a second-round TKO of Denis Kang at UFC 105 in his native Manchester, England.
UFC 110 is also rumored to include Dong Hyun Kim vs. Chris Lytle, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs. Ben Rothwell, and Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzysztof Soszynski, while a middleweight matchup between Nate Marquardt and Chael Sonnen has been shifted to UFC 109.
Pictured: Wanderlei Silva