The highly anticipated UFC middleweight title fight between current champ Anderson Silva and explosive challenger Vitor Belfort is now targeted for UFC 109.
The UFC had originally hoped to feature the contest at UFC 108, but Silva's recovery process from elbow surgery forced a delay in the schedule.
Belfort first released news of the new date to the Portugese-language Terra magazine's "Mano a Mano
" blog, and MMAjunkie.com
(www.mmajunkie.com) has since confirmed with sources close to the bout that verbal agreements are in place. Bout agreements have yet to be signed.
The bout is also contingent upon Silva's recovery process.
The bout between Belfort and Silva has been planned since "The Phenom's" triumphant return to the UFC with a TKO win over Rich Franklin in the catchweight main event of "UFC 103: Franklin vs. Belfort."
Silva's camp had initially expressed some resistance to taking a middleweight title fight with Belfort due to the challenger having yet to fight at 185 pounds in his return to the UFC. The champ has since agreed to put his belt on the line against Belfort whenever the fight does happen.
As for the elbow, Silva's manager, Ed Soares, told MMAjunkie.com in October that he doesn't believe there's a reason for any long-term concern.
"Anderson's recovery is going really, really well," Soares said. "He's coming back, and his recovery is doing really good. His physical therapy is going really well. He's getting better range of motion. He'll be back 100 percent for sure."
For complete coverage of UFC 109
, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors
section of MMAjunkie.com.
(Pictured: Vitor Belfort)
(Touch of gloves: MMAjunkie.com reader Fabio Stiegele)