Anderson Silva stepping in at UFC 200 against Daniel Cormier presented a number of challenges for the UFC, notably that he needed to clear a wide swath of medical exams in order to even be an option. According to UFC President Dana White, they got it done.
“Anderson went through all his medicals, passed with flying colors, and he will fight Daniel Cormier Saturday at UFC 200,” White said, explaining that they got every necessary exam done in one day to make the fight happen.
Silva was one of three options for the fight, along with Gegard Mousasi and Dan Henderson. White said Cormier agreed to fight every name presented, but they had other plans for Henderson and didn’t want to pull Mousasi out of his fight on UFC 200 and leave Thiago Santos without an opponent. Ultimately, Silva felt ready despite being out of training after gallbladder surgery, and wanted to step up.
“I think I’m in good shape and I don’t want Daniel or anyone else to think that I’m underestimating [him] or coming in here to try to challenge a champion,” Silva said. “I’m here to challenge myself. I haven’t trained in a few months, but I think I’m in good condition to go into the fight.”
Silva insisted on the fight being a three-round non-title bout, and with that now in place the card got shaken up once more. The UFC announced in confirming the Silva-Cormier fight that Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes will now headline Saturday’s card, with Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt back into the co-main event slot. Silva-Cormier takes the middle slot, while Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar and Cain Velasquez vs. Travis Browne round out the main card.
Penick’s Analysis: Silva-Cormier is absolutely crazy. It’s nerve-wracking for Silva’s health against someone like Cormier, but he says he’s alright and is ready to go. They’ve salvaged something insane to keep another major name on this card, but I’m not sure I get the decision to put Tate-Nunes on top. That’s inviting some to leave after Lesnar fights, because that fight was put under Lesnar-Hunt as soon as that bout got added to the card. The event is still huge, and it’s going to make for a highly entertaining night from Las Vegas.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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