by MMAWeekly.com Staff
The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday confirmed earlier reports by MMAWeekly.com, releasing the feature bouts for UFC 108.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Cain Velasquez will headline the Jan. 2 event in Las Vegas in a heavyweight contenders match, while The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights coach Rashad Evans will face Brazilian Thiago Silva in the co-main event.
“Nogueira vs. Velasquez is a great matchup between the present and the future of the heavyweight division,” said UFC president Dana White. “Nogueira showed in the Couture fight that he still has plenty left to offer at the top level of the game, and Velasquez was devastating in his win over Ben Rothwell, so with both guys in top form, we’re definitely going to see a number one contender emerge from this fight to take on the winner of the Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin title fight.”
Lesnar vs. Carwin was originally slated for UFC 106, but that fight was bumped off of the card, and a subsequent attempt to reschedule it for UFC 108 derailed, due to Lesnar suffering from a case of mononucleosis. That bout won’t take place until Lesnar’s health starts to improve and they have a better idea of when he’ll be able to start training at full speed again.
Most felt Velasquez was already in line for a shot at the winner of the Lensar vs. Carwin bout after his win over Rothwell at UFC 104, but with the uncertainty of the timing of the championship bout, he opted to stay busy and test himself against Nogueira.
“I am excited to fight a legend like Nogueira. He’s one of the fighters I watched growing up and admired – he’s definitely one of the greats, and a win over him is what I need to set me up for my shot at the title,” said Velasquez. “I have a lot respect for Nogueira and look forward to facing him in the Octagon.”
UFC 108 takes place on Jan. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.