(‘Tell your friend he’s next! Well, I guess he’s just right over there. You know what, don’t worry about it. I’ll tell him myself.’)
With “Rampage” Jackson running off to play a mohawk-less B.A. Baracus in the “A-Team” movie, the MMA world was left wondering whether Rashad Evans would get a replacement opponent, or if he would just have to go out there on his own and entertain the crowd with fifteen minutes of stand-up about how different the Catholic church would be if the pope was black. Thankfully, that seems like it won’t be necessary, as both Evans and Thiago Silva have reportedly verbally agreed to meet at UFC 108 in January.
Obviously this isn’t as satisfying as the fight between Evans and Jackson would have been after a long season of reality TV trash talk. But at least there’s something resembling an interesting angle, what with Silva knocking out Evans’ teammate, Keith Jardine at UFC 102 and both Silva and Evans suffering knockout losses to Lyoto Machida. Think of this as a fight to determine who still stands a chance at getting another turn on the Machida karate beatdown-go-round.
In other bookings news/rumors…
Following his surprising victory over Randy Couture at UFC 102, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is reportedly expected to get a heavyweight title fight with the winner of the Brock Lesnar/Shane Carwin bout in November. The good news for Big Nog is that, preparation-wise, it really doesn’t matter too much who wins that one. Both are bigger, stronger wrestlers who would looke to overpower him and cave in his long-suffering skull with the cartoon mallets that they call fists.
Does this mean we’ll see the old Nogueira who built a reputation in Pride for being able to take a tremendous beating before pulling a submission out of nowhere? Or have those beatings finally caught up with him? We just might get the chance to find out, though by the end of it we might wish we hadn’t.