Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva set for UFC 173 co-main event
After a little bit of a toggle between May and July, the grudge match betweenÂ Chael Sonnen andÂ Wanderlei Silva now has its home.
Sonnen (28-14-1 MMA, 6-5 UFC) and Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC) will meet in the co-main event of UFC 173, which will take place May 25 in Las Vegas. UFC President Dana White made the announcement on FOX Sports 1′s post-fight show for UFC 169, which took place Saturday in Newark, N.J.
The UFC was considering two spots for the fight â€“Â either May 25 for its annual Memorial Day weekend pay-per-view in Vegas, or July 5 for its annual Independence Day weekend show, also in “Sin City.”
But this past week, White said wherever the middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort falls, that’s where the Sonnen-Silva fight will fall. With Saturday’s announcement that Weidman-Belfort will headline UFC 173, White made Sonnen-Silva official as that event’s co-feature.
Sonnen and Silva currently are coaching opposite each other in Brazil on that country’s third season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Last week, the two heated rivals got into a scuffle during taping of the show.
White said it was the craziest thing that has happened in the history of the reality series.
Sonnen is coming off a TKO loss to Rashad Evans in a light heavyweight bout at UFC 167 in November. That dropped him back into the loss column after a “Submission of the Night” win over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in August, a win that snapped a two-fight skid of title losses to then-middleweight champ Anderson Silva and light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones.
Wanderlei Silva has not fought in nearly a year. This past March, he stopped Brian Stann with a second-round “Knockout of the Night” in Japan, where he made his name fighting for PRIDE. “The Axe Murderer will be chasing his first winning streak since 2005-2006 in PRIDE.
UFC 173 has not yet announced a venue, but will likely take place either at Mandalay Bay Events Center or MGM Grand Garden Arena. The main card will air on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
For the latest on UFC 173, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Wanderlei Silva)