An injury to UFC 139 star Vitor Belfort has lead to an intriguing bit of matchmaking for the November 19th event in San Jose.
His opponent, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le will now square off against Brazilian star Wanderlei Silva.
UFC president Dana White revealed the news on his Twitter account earlier today.
“Vitor is injured and out of San Jose fight. Now Cung Le will fight Wandy!”
To my mind this is a more exciting match-up than the originally proposed one as it’s more evenly matched. I felt fairly certain that Belfort would defeat Le, but I can’t say the same about Wanderlei who suffered a 27 second KO loss in his last outing against Chris Leben back in July.
Following that bout White indicated that he believed now was the time for the 35 year-old to retire, but the Brazilian was insistent that it was not his time to go and it appears that he has now got his way.
Meanwhile Le will be making his Octagon debut at the age of 39, bringing with him a 7-1 record cultivated in the Strikeforce promotion. His quick, flashy kicking base style could cause problems for Silva, but equally the Brazilian’s aggressive, brawling style could equally prove problematic for him.
Either way this feels like a battle of the veterans that’s going to meet with widespread approval from MMA fans.