Anderson Silva will replace Jon Jones at UFC 200 on Saturday and fight Daniel Cormier in a non-title bout.
The UFC had to scramble in the aftermath of Jones being flagged by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for a June 16 drug test, per MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani.
“This is devastating to Daniel Cormier mentally and physically—he just went through a camp—and financially,” White said, per MMA Weekly’sKen Pishna and Jeff Cain. “This pay-per-view is trending to be massive, and he shares in that revenue, so it’s devastating to him in every way it could possibly be.”
It would’ve been an epic showdown between Cormier and Jones, because the former lost to the latter by unanimous decision at UFC 182 in January 2015. That defeat remains the only blemish on Cormier’s professional MMA record (17-1).
Cormier, the current light heavyweight champion, was supposed to battle Jones for the belt. Instead, the stakes will be lowered for the Silva fight, but it nevertheless will add to an intriguing card for the upcoming showcase at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Silva is a former UFC middleweight champion who boasts a career MMA record of 33-6 with one no-contest. The Spider has served a suspension for positive drug tests as well but did fight as recently as February, when he lost to Michael Bisping.
Due to his striking precision and vicious ambidextrous approach, Silva is a formidable foe for Cormier despite being 41 years old and past his UFC apex. Cormier has a wrestling background and will have his hands full Saturday.
- In addition to the intriguing Cormier-Silva showdown, women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate will take on Amanda Nunes in the preceding fight. The main event will mark Brock Lesnar‘s return to the Octagon for the first time since December 2011 as he fights Mark Hunt.