It didn’t take long for the UFC to find a replacement for Frank Mir in his previously scheduled scrap with Cain Velasquez at UFC 146. According to UFC President Dana White, the former heavyweight champion will now face Antonio Silva in co-headlining action at the May 26 show.
Mir’s vacancy was created on Friday when the UFC announced he’d be facing Junior dos Santos at the same event, taking a spot previously held by Alistair Overeem in the wake of the Dutchman’s failed drug test.
Silva holds an overall record of 16-3 and will enter the cage with a solid size advantage over Velasquez, standing three inches taller and weighing twenty more pounds. However, like Velasquez, Silva came up short in his previous fight when he was knocked out in the opening round of action. The bout will mark the first for Silva since leaving Strikeforce where he racked up a trio of wins over Mike Kyle, Andrei Arlovski, and Fedor Emelianenko.
Velasquez is 9-1 with his only stumble involving his title-loss to Dos Santos this past November.
White did not reveal how the company would handle Roy Nelson whom Silva was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 146.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Curious matchmaking in my opinion, though obviously the UFC gets somewhat of a pass since it wasn’t their fault Overeem failed a drug test. However, Silva is coming off a loss, while Mark Hunt has a ton of fan support, fights at the same show, and would make a much better “contender” for Velasquez to face in terms of selling a rematch with JDS.