Antonio Silva's long-awaited Octagon debut is finally in the books.
Announced Wednesday, "Bigfoot" has agreed to face Roy "Big Country" Nelson in a heavyweight tilt at UFC 146, slated for May 26, 2012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. UFC officials confirmed the bout via Twitter.
Silva and Nelson join their heavyweight brethren on the Memorial Day weekend card, which is headlined by a mammoth title scrap between Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. Notable fan-favorites Dan Hardy, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, Edson Barboza, and Diego Brandao are also among the confirmed participants.
Considered to be one of the top scores of Strikeforce's heavyweight migration, Silva (16-3) enters the UFC fresh from a roller-coaster run through the promotion's heavyweight grand prix.
"Bigfoot" notched a stunning upset in the tourney's opening round, dominating Fedor Emelianenko en route to a second-round TKO finish and handing the PRIDE legend just his second loss in over a decade. However Silva's victory would be short-lived, as he then fell victim to an overhand right from injury-replacement Daniel Cormier early in their semi-final match.
Likewise, Nelson (16-7) hopes to rebound after dropping a ‘Fight of the Night' decision loss to Fabricio Werdum last month. Following the setback, the 35-year-old former TUF winner has now lost three of his last four contests to top opponents, with his only win coming in a three-round war that would prove to be Mirko Cro Cop's final MMA match.
Though despite his struggles, "Big Country" has gained recent notoriety for an online bet he made with the mixed martial arts community, in which he pledged to drop to light heavyweight if he gained 100,000 Facebook ‘likes' within two weeks. Just days into the wager, Nelson is already approaching his mark, so it remains to be seen if UFC 146 will be his final bout at heavyweight.
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