Brazilian prospect Erick Silva and former International Fight League champion Jay Hieron will square off at UFC 156, promotion officials announced Wednesday.
The bout joins a stout fight card topped by a featherweight title tilt pitting reigning champion Jose Aldo against former lightweight pacesetter Frankie Edgar. The Feb. 2 event takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will also see ex-Strikeforce heavyweight ruler Alistair Overeem collide with onetime EliteXC belt holder Antonio Silva.
Jungle Fight’s inaugural welterweight champion, Silva, 28, rode a serious wave of momentum into his most recent in-cage appearance, with a controversial disqualification loss to veteran Carlo Prater serving as the only blemish on his record in his previous six fights. Former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch would squash that momentum, however, as the American Kickboxing Academy ace gutted out a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over “Indio” last month at UFC 153.
Eight years older than his upcoming opponent, Hieron saw a 10-fight winning streak snapped when he dropped a split verdict to Ben Askren in a failed Bellator title bid last year. After negotiating his Bellator release and picking up a victory in the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championship, “The Thoroughbred” returned to the Octagon on Oct. 5, falling by unanimous decision to former IFL rival Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FX 5.