The Ultimate Fighting Championship®(UFC®) announced today that the bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and Brazilian knockout artist Thiago Silva will headline UFC 108 as Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira today was forced to pull out of his fight with Cain Velasquez due to a severe injury to his left elbow. UFC 108, which is presented by “Bayonetta” and live on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will take place on Saturday, January 2, 2010.
“The bout between Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva is a fight we always talked about as a main event, and now these guys have the chance to headline UFC 108 and kick off the new year in impressive fashion,” said UFC President Dana White. “At the same time, we wish Antonio Nogueira a speedy recovery and can’t wait for his return.”
Tickets for UFC 108 are priced at $600, $400, $300, $200, $100 and $50, not including applicable service charges, are on sale and are available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at UFC.com, www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
UFC 108 will be available live on pay-per-view on iN DEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.95 ($49.95/Canada) for standard definition or high-definition broadcasts (where available).
Ready to get his UFC light heavyweight title back, Rashad Evans (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) has notched wins over some big names in the division, including consecutive knockout victories over Chuck Liddell and then-champion Forrest Griffin. The Niagara Falls, New York native and former Michigan State University wrestler has won 18 of his 20 pro fights, including a draw against former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz. A skilled grappler that has tremendous knockout power, Evans will need all of his well-rounded abilities when he takes on Thiago Silva, the man who knocked out his teammate and training partner Keith Jardine.
“Being able to get right back in the mix and right back into a main event is an honor,” Evans said. “This is the first step in getting my title back. Thiago is a dangerous fighter standing up and on the ground and I always relish an opportunity to fight the best and put on a great show for the fans.”
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt that can get the knockout as easy as the tap out, Thiago Silva (fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) has won 14 of his first 15 pro fights. His 95 second KO victory over Jardine at UFC 102 was his fifth win in the UFC, with four coming via KO/TKO and one by submission. The 26-year-old has put away his opponents within two rounds in all of his UFC wins and he looks to throw his name in the UFC title contention hat with a win over former world titleholder Rashad Evans.
“I feel that the bigger the fight, the better I do,” Silva said. “Being in the main event for a UFC card has always been a goal of mine. Rashad is a great fighter, but he’d better come prepared in all aspects of mixed martial arts.”
Nogueira was forced to withdraw from UFC 108 due to a staph infection on his left elbow, the same injury he incurred prior to his fight with Frank Mir at UFC 92. The infection was previously treated in Brazil, however his physicians have determined the virus was never eradicated, and as a result, attacked his system at some point within the past week, leaving his elbow severely swollen. Nogueira’s physicians stated he must undergo treatment for at least three weeks, and that the virus is so aggressive that it may require an intravenous antibiotic to ensure a full recovery.
“I am so disappointed,” Nogueira said. “I am sorry to my fans, but I have learned from my mistakes, and I’m not going into a fight unless I can give 100 percent my best performance. I have to be in top form, and then I can guarantee an exciting fight, a battle like what they saw at UFC 102. I appreciate all the fans around the world who are supporting me right now so much, and my next fight, a great fight, I give to them.”
Nogueira is currently in the United States and receiving medical care at a facility in San Diego.