In an unexpected twist, we may be about to get a second helping of one of the biggest rivalry’s in the history of the UFC with the news that Rashad Evans has been drafted in to replace Thiago Silva against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at UFC 130.
According to MMAWeekly, Due to an injury Silva has been forced to pull out of the originally scheduled fight with Rampage. Luckily for the UFC Evans recently pulled out his title fight with ‘Shogun’ Rua at UFC 128 in March due to a knee injury, but he will be fit in time to take on Rampage on May 28th.
Evans last fight was in fact against Jackson, defeating him by unanimous decision back in May of last year. Meanwhile Jackson has got back to winning ways since with a narrow victory over Lyoto Machida in November at UFC 123.
Due to the dislike between the two their original fight was hugely successful for the UFC. Prior to the bout the pair had been opposing on the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter, where their rivalry intensified with a series of arguments that helped to draw record ratings for the show on Spike TV.
Later Rampage and ‘Suga’ featured in a three fight ‘UFC Primetime’ special which debuted with 1.2 million viewers. The subsequent fight at UFC 114 then did major business, recording over 1 million pay-per-view buys.
Despite attempting to settle their differences in the Octagon the two have remained at loggerheads since. In fact just days before last weekend’s UFC 126 event Evans revealed that the two had got into an altercation in a Las Vegas nightclub that resulted in both men exchanging slaps before being pulled apart by bouncers.
With that kind of ill-feeling between the two, UFC 130 could prove to be another blockbuster show for the promotion.
Update: According to TATAME Thiago Silva claims he’s not injured and still believes he is fighting Rampage in May. MMAWeekly are normally a reliable source, so we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.