Earlier today, it was reported that Thiago Silva’s scheduled fight with Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 on August 8th would be scrapped in favor of a matchup between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin. According to John Morgan of MMAjunkie.com, Keith Jardine (14-5-1) will now be squaring off against Thiago Silva (13-1) at UFC 102 in Portland on August 29th.
Both Thiago Silva and Jardine are looking to bounce back from recent defeats to top contenders in the light heavyweight division. Jardine, the Greg Jackson trained fighter, was beaten by former champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in a close decision at UFC 96 last March. Silva, of American Top Team, was knocked out in the closing seconds of the first round by Lyota Machida at UFC 92 in early February this year. Machida will next challenge Jardine’s teammate Rashad Evans for the light heavyweight title at UFC 98 on May 23rd.
Jardine and Thiago Silva were considered contenders for the title in the very deep light heavyweight division until they each suffered a setback loss in their last fight. Jardine, known for his brutal leg kicks, owns notable wins over Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Brandon Vera and Wilson Gouveia in his 10 UFC appearances.
Thiago Silva was riding a hot streak rattling of 13 straight wins (10 of which were KO/TKO’s) to start his career before being defeated by Machida. Silva’s won 4 times in the UFC over opponents Antonio Mendes, Houston Alexander, Tomasz Drwal and James Irvin.
The fight between Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin was likely made due to Silva’s last two lackluster performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites. Griffin is expected to be a much steeper challenge than Silva’s last two opponents and should make for a much more exciting fight.
The Jardine-Silva matchup will likely be on the same fight card as a heavyweight bout between MMA legends Randy Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.