Thiago Silva, who seemed like a mediocre opponent, for Quinton “Rampage” Jackson has been scratched from their upcoming bout at UFC 130.
Silva was replaced by a much more interesting opponent to make for an awesome fight and even better trash talk. That opponent for Jackson is none other than “Suga” Rashad Evans. Evans was recently snubbed from his title match at UFC 128 with “Shogun” Rua after injuring his knee in training. Evans and Jackson have met once before but there were many issues and circumstances involved in the outcome of that fight as both fighters weren’t fully committed to that fight but were obligated due to their Ultimate Fighter coaching status.
This time around Evans was preparing for a title shot and Jackson is coming off a fresh win over Lyoto Machida reasserting himself into the title picture. Jackson turned down the chance to fight “Shogun” for the title citing a lack of time to prepare and kept his original bout with Thiago Silva on schedule. Evans being without an opponent is also contemplating division changes if teammate and friend Jon Jones wins the title at UFC 128. This fight makes more sense all around than the Silva fight previously slated as Evans and Jackson have a lot of unfinished business and it’s real personal. The two were previously in a verbal altercation in a Las Vegas nightclub which Jackson ended up slapping Evans before security could break up the altercation.
The UFC benefits greatly from this fight more than Jackson fighting Silva because many fans were disappointed with the first fight and are willing to buy this card for this fight only. This will bring in huge revenue much like the first bout, but expect an increase as there is more on the line as the winner may very well be the number one contender for the UFC light heavyweight title. As for Thiago Silva, he embarrassed Brandon Vera earning Vera his pink slip from the UFC and was scheduled to face Jackson. The reason for not facing Jackson is the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and a previous Silva drug test.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has passed all but a single drug test from UFC 125 and that is Thiago Silva’s. The Athletic Commission did not say or imply that Silva’s drug test was “dirty” or “positive” only that it was still processing. Silva’s management team spoke on the situation saying “All we know is that it’s still processing. We haven’t gotten any positive. We haven’t gotten any negative. At this point we have no reason to expect that it’s going to be anything but a negative result – negative meaning Thiago’s clear.” With this delaying Silva, everything has fallen into place for one of the most anticipated rematches in an epic rivalry.