16 Nov 2009 10:22:32 AM
(Look, Dana isn’t saying that you guys have to hate each other; he’s just saying that he could understand why Thiago might be upset about some of the things Rashad may or may not have written about him on the Zuffa office’s bathroom wall.)
It’s the first rule of fight promoting, and the UFC knows it better than anyone: when life gives you staph infections, make staph infectionade. Only, you know, don’t call it that. After losing Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira off the UFC 108 card, and with him their main event feature attraction, the UFC has responded by pushing the Rashad Evans-Thiago Silva bout to the top spot and rebranding it a "grudge match." They don’t go into much detail to explain the grudge part of that phrase, but we can probably assume that they’re going to be using the old ‘you beat my teammate and now I must beat you’ angle.
In reality, Evans and Silva have expressed nothing but gentlemanly respect for one another’s skills, with the only hint of a grudge coming from Evans’ remark that Silva gave him "a nasty look" after defeating Keith Jardine. Ken Shamrock-Tito Ortiz it ain’t, but at this point the UFC is probably just grateful to have two warm, relatively healthy bodies to put in the cage on January 2nd.
As for Big Nog, he apologized to his fans but wisely noted "I have learned from my mistakes, and I’m not going into a fight unless I can give 100% my best performance." Nog is currently getting medical treatment in San Diego, according to the UFC, and we wish him a speedy recovery.