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Rashad Evans Stepping in for Thiago Silva to Fight Rampage Jackson at UFC 130?

On Tuesday we talked about Jon Bones Jones getting a light heavyweight title shot against Shogun Rua next month. Jonny got the break when his teammate Rashad Evans got hurt, making him unable to fight on March 19th. But that doesn’t mean Evans will be out for long.

MMA Weekly reported Wednesday that Evans is likely to fight in UFC 130 against Rampage Jackson, a rematch of their UFC 114 fight last May. Rashad won that contest easily in a unanimous decision, but the public would be interested in seeing another fight between the two.

Thiago Silva is actually scheduled to fight Rampage at UFC 130 in Las Vegas, but there may be an issue with his drug test following his New Year’s fight with Brandon Vera at UFC 125. Silva’s drug test reportedly is still being processed by the New York State Athletic Commission while all other fighters’ tests have been cleared.

It seems quite possible that Silva may be punished for a positive test, and Evans will be his replacement at UFC 130. If that is the case, then all the constant maneuvering would make plenty of sense.

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UPDATE: It appears as if Rampage will be fighting Matt Hamill at UFC 130.

Jon Bones Jones Is Ready for Title Shot Against Shogun, But Is March Too Early?

Jon Bones Jones has long been considered an elite prospect in the light heavyweight division, and the 23-year-old did not disappoint his legion of fans Saturday at UFC 126. Jones choked out Ryan Bader in the second round of their match with what appeared to be a guillotine choke. It was immediately after the fight that he received the most shocking news of all: because of an injury to Rashad Evans, Jones would have a shot at the title against Shogun Rua.

Though the announcement was surprising, both because we were unaware Evans would be unable to fight, and also because we did not expect to see Jones receive a shot at the title so quickly, there is little doubt that Jonny is ready.

Bones has ripped through the light heavyweight division, ending four of his last five UFC fights within the first two rounds. He’s 12-1 and only two of his fights went to a decision, with his only loss coming when he was disqualified for using 12-to-6 elbows against Matt Hamill. Jones was dominating in that fight as well, and he’s hardly been challenged despite fighting strong competition in the UFC.

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Steven Seagal Says Anderson Silva Initially Reached Out to Him

I don’t know about you, but I still cannot get over the news that actor/tough guy Steven Seagal taught Anderson Silva the kick he used to knockout Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 (watch the incredible video here). Like Del wrote, we figured Seagal being part of Silva’s entourage was more of a joke than anything else, and we were in disbelief when The Spider credited Seagal for the move after the fight. We’re still having trouble processing it all.

Given that Seagal taught Silva the move, I probably shouldn’t be surprised that Silva’s the one who initially reached out to Seagal to form their relationship, but I am. In this interview with Ariel Helwani, Seagal talks about their relationship, including how they first met. It’s stunning:

Steven Seagal’s Training Helped Anderson Silva Beat Vitor Belfort

Steven Seagal is much more than just a badass Hollywood actor. People joke about the tough guy roles he stars in and patronize a lot of his cheesy movies, but UFC 126 proved Seagal is not someone you would want to mess around with in a dark alley — or anywhere for that matter. Don’t believe me? Just ask any of the countless fighters who have had their noggins cranked in by middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

If you were watching the fights on Saturday night, you probably laughed and were a little surprised to see Seagal standing in the front row wearing a nice set of yellow-tinted glasses. Those of us who are aware of his impressive background in martial arts immediately found ourselves wondering if Seagal was part of The Spider’s entourage.  It turns out he’s more than that.

When Silva knocked out Vitor Belfort with one of the best front kicks you’ll ever see on Saturday night, he was quick to give all the credit to Seagal.  In his post-fight press conference, Anderson said through his translator that Seagal “helped (him) perfect that kick,” which was one they had spent a lot of time working on in training.  How great is that?

Last time I checked, Chuck Norris wasn’t responsible for helping one of the best MMA fighters in the world defend his title.  Chuck may get all the credit and have all the quips written about him, but it looks like we need to start recognizing Seagal as the most hardcore badass in Hollywood.

Anderson Silva Crazy Knockout Kick Ends Vitor Belfort Fight (Video)

One of the most anticipated UFC cards in a few months featured very few exciting moments on Saturday night.  Leading up to the main event between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, the only fight that didn’t end in a judges’ decision was Jon Jones’ brutal choke out of Ryan Bader. Thanks to Silva and Steven Seagal, UFC 126 ended with a bang. Check out the Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort fight video:

That’s the first time I’ve ever seen a fighter get knocked out by a kick that comes in like an uppercut. Silva, who broke out a mask to taunt Belfort at the weigh-in, could be the biggest weirdo in MMA, but there’s no denying he’s the best fighter.  He did his typical obnoxious, voodoo dance routine for most of the first round before planting his foot in Belfort’s face.  No one saw it coming except Seagal, whom Silva credits for having taught him the move — and he wasn’t kidding.  Thanks to The Big Lead for finding a video that has somehow yet to be pulled.

Forrest Griffin-Rich Franklin UFC 126 Fight Loser Getting a Tattoo

When Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin collide at UFC 126 in Las Vegas Saturday evening, there will be a lot on the line. Not only will their physical well-beings and bodies be open to potential harm from beating each other up, but the loser stands to receive a permanent scar. As you can see in this video from the UFC, the loser of the fight supposedly is getting a tattoo.

As long as the tattoo doesn’t look anything like this, I think we’ll be fine.

Anderson Silva Breaks Out Mask at Weigh-in for Vitor Belfort UFC 126 Fight

Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort are headlining UFC 126 in Las Vegas on Saturday evening, and the anticipation for the fight has grown throughout the week.

At the pre-fight press conference, Belfort said that Silva puts on a “mask” to try and intimidate opponents. He also accused Silva of acting in the ring to put on a show, something with which many people would agree.

Silva responded to Belfort’s accusations by breaking out a mask at the weigh-in Friday, as LBS MMA expert Alan Hull noted. The 185-pound middleweight engaged in a staredown with his fellow Brazilian, giving off the appearance that this fight is personal.

Most experts are picking The Spider to win the fight, which would be his 14th consecutive victory. If he gets the win, it sets up a possible super-fight against Georges St. Pierre who first needs to beat Jake Shields at UFC 129. Of course each fighter needs to take care of business first with wins. It all starts Saturday evening.