After a pair of injuries temporarily crippled the UFC 153 fight bill, promotion officials confirmed Wednesday night that Anderson Silva will move up to light heavyweight to face Stephan Bonnar in the new Oct. 13 headliner.
Additionally, Fabio Maldonado has stepped up to face countryman Glover Teixeira in the evening’s co-main event at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, while onetime Pride Fighting Championships titlist Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will lock horns with Dave Herman.
UFC 153 was initially expected to be headlined by a featherweight title confrontation between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch, but former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar replaced Koch after “New Breed” suffered an injury. That booking fell by the wayside yesterday when Aldo withdrew from the bout due to a lingering foot injury sustained in a motorcycle accident just over a week ago.
Teixeira had been slated to face former light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson, but “Rampage” was also bitten by the injury bug.
Silva, 37, has not lost since 2006. The reigning UFC middleweight champion, “The Spider” last competed on July 7 at UFC 148, knocking out Chael Sonnen in a rematch of their hard-fought 2010 encounter. Bonnar, meanwhile, has won three straight fights, last defeating Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 139 this past November after topping Krzysztof Soszynski and Igor Pokrajac in 2010.
Known for his boxing skills and body punching, Maldonado, 32, has lost a pair of hard-fought decisions in his last two UFC outings, taking Kingsbury and Pokrajac the distance after debuting with a technical knockout of James McSweeney in 2010. In Teixeira, Maldonado faces a man riding a 16-fight winning streak. The 32-year-old most recently competed on May 26, stopping Kingsbury in under two minutes at UFC 146.
Nogueira has not competed since having his arm broken by Frank Mir in their UFC 140 rematch this past December. One of the heavyweight division's elder statesmen, “Minotauro” has gone 2-3 in his last five fights after posting seven wins in his previous eight outings. Herman, 27, looks to rebound from a first-round knockout courtesy of Roy Nelson at UFC 146. The former EliteXC talent bested grappler John Olav Einemo in his UFC debut last summer but would then come up short in his sophomore effort against Stefan Struve in February.