Late Thursday night, UFC middleweight Wanderlei Silva confirmed in a YouTube video that he will indeed be facing Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 111, the organization’s debut in Australia. Silva heads to “The Land Down Under” desperately needing a W, however is in good spirits as he looks to dominate a new division.
“I am so happy because it is the first event there,” Silva said. “This is a great honor for me because I fight in the main event in Cologne, Germany, in the first event there, and I’m gonna fight in the first event in Australia.”
Although Wandy is suffering through the roughest stretch of his professional career, losing five of his last six scraps – including his current two-fight skid, the Brazilian remains one of MMA’s most exciting and popular competitors.
The former PrideFC 205-pound king will be making his middleweight debut for the UFC, a move that he hopes will prolong his illustrious career.
The UFC certainly didn’t do him any favors as Akiyama is one of the best middleweights UFC fans don’t know about. The Japanese vet boasts an impressive 13-1 mark, all ending in finishes except for his last where he earned a split decision over Alan Belcher in his Octagon debut at UFC 100.
As of now, there are no other fighters rumored to participate inside the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia, with much of that could being determined after the hectic holiday season that the UFC has ahead of them.
It is believed that the pair will headline the February 21st event, however that could change depending upon whether the UFC decides to make this event available on Spike TV for $Free.99 or via pay-per-view (Memo to UFC: Better believe most fans won’t pay 50 bones to watch this as the main event).
Because there is a 15-hour time difference from Australia to the United States, it would stand to reason the broadcast will be shown for free, especially when the NFL will be deep in their playoff run at that time.
Keep your fingers crossed …