Thiago Silva has had his return to the UFC moved up. Originally expected to return to the UFC after a year-long layoff at UFC on Fuel TV 3 in May, Silva will now face Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fuel TV 2 on April 14th. Silva replaces Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who was forced to withdraw from the main event due to a knee injury.
Silva (14-2-1) has not fought since UFC 125 in January 2011. He defeated Brandon Vera via decision, which was later turned to a no-contest, as Silva failed a post-fight drug test. Silva’s urine sample was found to be “inconsistent with human urine” according to the Nevada Athletic Commission. Because of the failed test, Silva was suspended for one year.
He was originally expected to return to a rematch with Vera at UFC on Fuel TV 3 on May 15th, but Vera withdrew from the fight due to injury. Vera’s replacement, Igor Pokrajac, was the next scheduled opponent for Silva. But now with Nogueira’s injury, Silva will return a month early, and will be facing a top contender in Alexander Gustafsson.
Gustafsson (13-1) will be fighting in front of his home country of Sweden at the event. He last fought at UFC 141, defeating Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO in the first round. At 5-1 in the UFC, the recently-turned 25 year old has quickly risen to the list of top contenders in the light heavyweight division. This will be his first fight in Sweden since he joined the UFC, and will be his first ever UFC main event.
The extent of Nogueira’s injury was not announced. This is the second fight in the last year that Nogueira has withdrawn from, as he was expected to face Rich Franklin at UFC 133 last August. However, weeks before the fight, Nogueira suffered a shoulder injury, which caused both to be pulled from the event.
UFC on Fuel TV 2 takes place on April 14th from the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockhom, Sweden. Along with the main event between Gustafsson and Silva, the main card will feature a middleweight matchup between Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara.
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