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Chuck Liddell Will Headline UFC 88 but Won't Be Fighting Anderson Silva

Earlier this month, MDS wondered if Chuck Liddell's return to the Octagon would be against Anderson Silva in a dream matchup for fans of mixed martial arts. We'll have to wait for that one, though. MMAjunkie reports that it was discussed but Liddell will be meeting Rashad Evans in the main event of UFC's first trip to Atlanta instead.

Liddell was supposed to meet Evans, replacing Shogun Rua, at UFC 85 in London but the Iceman's hamstring wasn't fit enough to allow him to fight. The fight will take place on September 9th, more than nine months after Liddell's victory over Wanderlei Silva. The combination of Liddell's injury, layoff and age is troublesome but Evans has been idle even longer.

He beat Michael Bisping last November in a battle of Ultimate Fighter winners to remain undefeated but hasn't fought since then. After Liddell had to be scratched, James Irvin replaced him but he too went down to injury. That's halted the rapid rise of Evans to the light heavyweight elite but a win over Liddell would have him right back on track.

Liddell-Evans is a fine fight but Liddell-Silva would have been one of the biggest fights ever. Here's hoping that Silva makes the move up in class sooner rather than later. He's beaten every top contender in UFC's middleweight division and beaten them badly. There are a bunch of tasty fights among light heavyweights, though, so let's cross our fingers that he'll be there soon.

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