Today the UFC issued their official press release announcing “UFC 77: Hostile Territory”. In the announcement the UFC again confirmed the main event fight between current middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva and challenger Rich “Ace” Franklin and also announced a heavyweight feature bout between Tim “The Maine-iac” Sylvia and Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Several days ago we reported that Vera was likely to return to action at the event against Tim Sylvia based on comments UFC president Dana White made during a pre-UFC 74 conference call with the media. At the time Sylvia’s health was the biggest question mark on the bout as the former UFC champion is recovering from both back surgery and a staph infection but his recovery and training are on course for him to fight in his first bout since relinquishing the UFC Heavyweight Title to Randy Couture in March at UFC 68.
With a 4-0 record Vera made his UFC debut defeating Fabiano Scherner with a second round TKO at UFC Fight Night 2. He next posted a quick KO win over Justin Eilers at UFC 57 and quickly followed it up with another win, this time a submission victory over Assuerio Silva at UFC 60. In his last fight in late 2006 Vera dominated former heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 65 winning via TKO in just 69 seconds.
Sylvia is a two time UFC heavyweight champion. In 2003 he defeated Ricco Rodriguez to claim the title for the first time. After defending his title against Dan McGee Sylvia failed a post-fight drug test and was stripped of the title. In his return bout Sylvia was defeated by Frank Mir in a heavyweight championship match. In 2006 Sylvia reclaimed the title by defeating Andrei Arlovski at UFC 59. He successfully defended the title twice before losing to Couture.
For now it appears that this fight will likely take the place of a proposed rematch between Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans who fought to a draw at UFC 73. The rematch has been the subject of much conversation since it was announced in the days after UFC 73 particularly because Ortiz has just one fight remaining on his current UFC contract and has expressed interest in having the fight in Las Vegas.
Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy.com as the UFC 77 card continues to develop.
– via BloodyElbow