UFC bolstered the UFC 208 lineup with a strong number two fight featuring former Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva taking on Derek Brunson. UFC officially announced the fight on their website and social media channels Friday evening. Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie is the headline fight, with supporting fights including Glover Teixeira, Tim Boetsch, and Ronaldo Souza.
Silva, the no. 8 ranked Middleweight in the most recent MMATorch.com rankings, is coming off two straight losses, first a close decision to Michael Bisping last February, and most recently a decision loss to Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier in a short notice fight at UFC 200. Silva’s last win was a decision over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 that was overturned to a no-contest after Silva failed a drug test.
Brunson, ranked no. 9 at MMATorch.com, is coming off a loss to Robert Whittaker in November but before that had seen four straight KO/TKO wins over Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, Roan Aarneiro, and Uriah Hall.
UFC 208 takes place on Feb. 11 from Brooklyn, New York on pay-per-view.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This wasn’t the type of fight I was expecting to see Anderson Silva in at this point of his career. Brunson is a dangerous opponent, but not a big name so the upside for Silva isn’t there. That said, Silva is a big name in his own right, so a win over anybody can get him a title shot. For Brunson, a win would get him right back on track after a tough loss to Whittaker. I like Silva to win the fight but Brunson hits hard and Silva can be knocked out so it should be a fun fight. Brunson’s best path to victory will be to work on his takedowns as that’s where Silva is most vulnerable. The fight definitely helps UFC 208 which was lacking in star power at the top end. Adding Silva to the show brings it from a show that was probably going to do near rock-bottom numbers to potentially doing pretty well on pay-per-view. It will be a good test for Silva’s drawing power in 2017.