by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Brandon Vera is set to return to the UFC, most likely in October, and his first opponent may be former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia.
The UFC announced via their website that after a long absence from the organization, rising heavyweight talent Brandon Vera would be returning and they are looking to possibly place him on the October show in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Vera has been in limbo since his last fight when he defeated former champion Frank Mir in November 2006 dealing with a contract dispute with his former management team.
Now Vera has a new management team behind him and he is looking forward to a return to the Octagon and a heavyweight division that has flourished since his last fight.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the new deal between Vera and the UFC on a media conference call for next week’s UFC 74. He also said that Vera’s next bout would probably be with Sylvia.
MMAWeekly has confirmed with sources close to the situation that, although the fight is a definite possibility, nothing has been signed as of yet.
Tim Sylvia is currently on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
The former champion was a part of the recent staph outbreak among Miletich fighters that saw Spencer Fisher get knocked out of his main event fight with Din Thomas and put Drew McFedries out for 6-8 months.
Reports from Sylvia’s camp indicate that while the former champ did contract staph along with many of his teammates, he did not end up with an infection that would keep him out of action for any prolonged amount of time and is ready to return to the Octagon.
Current champion Randy Couture also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a recent appearance on MMAWeekly Radio saying, “I think you’re going to see Vera and Tim Sylvia hook it up. Brandon Vera is going to get back in the mix here. He’s got some new management, so I think he’s going to be dealing with the UFC in a little more positive way. I think that’s a very interesting fight.”
Vera was on the fast track to a UFC title shot prior to falling out of sight and now the division features many top fighters such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic after being transplanted from Pride.
The California native has been impressive in all of his previous UFC bouts and his return should be a welcome addition to an already impressive heavyweight class.
Now with the division being stacked from top to bottom, Vera will work to build himself back to possessing the #1 contender spot that he held at the beginning of 2007.