Cape Town - Former UFC middleweight champion and MMA legend, Anderson Silva is set to return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 83 on Feb. 27 in London.
He will meet the UK’s own Michael Bisping in the night’s main event. Bisping was originally set to face Gegard Mousasi but UFC president Dana White announced via twitter that Silva would now be Bisping’s opponent according to Nick Strickland of MMALatestNews.com.
Silva (33-6-1) is coming back after a year away from the sport due to a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. The former champ tested positive for steroid metabolites before and after his UFC 183 bout with Nick Diaz last January.
The win over Diaz was overturned into a no contest after the tests came back positive.
The 40-year-old Brazilian owns the record for most title defenses in UFC history with 10.
“I would love this fight to be in Brazil, but it’s going to be a pleasure to come back and face Michael Bisping at the sold out O2 Arena in London,” Silva told UFC.com.
“It's been awhile since i fought in London for the last time, and i'm really excited to be back. I believe this is going to be a big test so i can come back and go after a title shot.”
Bisping (27-7) has won his last two fights and is coming off a split decision win over Thales Leites in July.
Native to the UK Bisping has not fought on home soil since 2010, where he beat Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 120 in London.
Bisping has been a top middleweight contender for the past seven years but has never managed to earn himself a title shot.
Just hours after the fight was announced, the brash Brit sent a verbal jab to Silva via twitter. Referring to Silva’s failed drug test, “Just leave the viagra out of it!”, Bisping making fun of argument that Silva’s lawyer brought into the NAC hearing in August that the cause of the failed UFC 183 test was due to a tainted sexual enhancement supplement.
Silva and Bisping are both undefeated in London. The Brazilian went 4-0 from 2004-2006 under the Cage Rage promotional banner, defending his 185-pound title three times.
Bisping who also fought under the Cage Rage banner and was the light heavyweight champion is 5-0 in the English Capital.
FIGHT CARD: (Bout order not set)
Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping
Mike Wilkinson vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Norman Parke vs. Rustam Khabilov
Tom Breese vs. Keita Nakamura
Brad Pickett vs. Henry Briones
David Grant vs. Marlon Vera
Arnold Allen vs. Yaotzin Meza
Bradley Scott vs. Krzysztof Jotko
Scott Askham vs. Chris Dempsey
David Teymur vs. Martin Svensson
Teemu Packalen vs. Lukasz Sajewski
Daniel Omielanczuk vs. Jarjis Danho
Jimi Manuwa vs. Nikita Krylov