Silva replaces Jones in UFC 200 fight against Cormier

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Anderson Silva.

Dan Henderson wanted the fight, as did Alexander Gustafsson and Gegard Mousasi. Then a spider crept into the mix.

Anderson Silva has replaced Jon Jones in a three-round non-title fight at UFC 200 to ensure light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier remains on the historic card. It has been a rollercoaster ride for “DC” after his main event rematch with Jones was scrapped following the interim title holder’s failed drugs test.

From the biggest bout of his life, to no fight at all to now facing one of the greatest fighters of all time, the last few days have been a real test of Cormier’s mental fortitude.

But the 205lbs champ says he is just happy to retain his place on the blockbuster card – albeit now third on the bill.

“I am honored to share the Octagon with the one of the greatest fighters of all time,” Cormier said in a statement to MMA Fighting.

“This is a very tough fight for me, and I have to fight smart and to do my best in order to win this fight. Thank you Anderson for stepping up, and thanks to Dana White and the UFC for making this happen. Now let’s go do this.”

The 41-year-old Silva, who is coming off a loss to the current 185lbs champion Michael Bisping in February, is taking the fight on only two days notice. He’s also going into the bout having just had his gallbladder removed in May.

But the former 10-time defending middleweight champ is delighted to have been given the nod.

“It’s a great challenge fighting at this event. Obviously, I wanted to be fighting in my own weight class for the belt, but I’m here,” explained Silva who has won on all three occasions he’s moved up to 205lbs.

After Cormier takes on Silva, all eyes will be firmly fixed on Brock Lesnar’s return to the Octagon. The pro-wrestling superstar is back in MMA after a near six-year absence and will face one of the hardest hitters in the UFC, Mark Hunt.

Both heavyweights made use of the early weigh-ins and hit the 265lbs limit. Lesnar came in at 265.5lbs while ‘The Super Samoan’ hit the scales at 264.5lbs.

“I’ve been in the business long enough – the entertainment industry, the fight game – the show still goes on,” said Lesnar after he opted out of doing the open workout. “Regardless of where I’m at on the card, the show is gonna happen. I’m just thankful that I got through training camp healthy and I’m here.”​

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