The rumored UFC 101 bout between former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin (16-5) and Thiago Silva (13-1) has apparently been thrown out the window and replaced by a biggie. Dana White confirmed with Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports today that they have finalized a deal for Forrest Griffin to face UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at the event. It remains unclear at this time if Thiago Silva will remain on the card or be moved to another event.
Silva, coming off a controversial successful title defense over Thales Leites at UFC 97, will once again move up to light heavyweight for the non-title bout. Silva’s fight with Leites was heavily criticized, with UFC President Dana White calling the fight “embarrassing” and “disappointing,” and questioning if Silva needed another challenge at 205 pounds. Silva last fought at light heavyweight in July of last year, having defeated James Irvin in the first minute of round one.
Although not officially announced, UFC 101 will be held at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 8th. The event will be headlined by a UFC lightweight title fight between champion BJ Penn and top contender Kenny Florian.