(The Red Cross is asking for donations leading up to this rematch)
Gypsy curse be damned, the UFC has announced plans to inject a serious adrenaline shot into the newly-contentious heavyweight division with a UFC 160 doubleheader of Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem. Per MMAJunkie:
The UFC 160 main event will be a heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC), a rematch from this past Memorial Day weekend. The co-main event features former champ Junior Dos Santos (15-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) against Alistair Overeem (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC).
UFC President Dana White first revealed the planned matchups to fans while in Ireland prior to heading to London for UFC on FUEL TV 7. Ariel Helwani of FUEL TV’s “UFC Tonight” said on Tuesday’s show that White confirmed the bouts.
I’m still mourning the loss of Velasquez-Overeem along with Dana White (watch Dana and Chuck Liddell laugh bitterly over the 20 million+ that cost Zuffa) but UFC 160 seems to be a really positive outcome for everyone. The rematch will offer Silva a chance to recalibrate his gameplan to make the most of the size advantage he forgot he had last time. And Dos Santos vs Overeem promises to be a standup war or at least an opportunity for the UFC to make another huge deal about JDS’ fight stats and Overeem’s “physicality.”
The heavyweight division hasn’t moved along this well in forever and even better yet, UFC 160 comes right on the heels the Werdum-Nogueira TUF coach fight which Dana White has previously mentioned might be worth a title shot to Werdum if he can come out victorious. This may be the first time that TUF has made a division move more efficiently! Fuckin’ Jones vs Sonnen….
Not to be too angsty about Overeem losing or Chael getting a shot – 2013 is shaping up to be pretty sweet. We have six title fights to look forward to in the three short months before UFC 160 and the fights so far have been awesome. It’s nice that injuries are starting to take a backseat to the other issues in the sport like TRT demons slaying contenders or the shitty judging epidemic that everyone is aware of yet isn’t going away any time soon.
The lesson here is that sometimes the necessary match-ups are better for everyone than the blockbusters. They keep divisions healthy and give guys like Overeem and Frankie Edgar time to redeem themselves while we bask in the glory of good, solid, sane matchmaking.