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Anderson Silva looks set to return to UFC action with a rematch in March

It’s expected to headline UFC 197 in Rio de Janeiro.

Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Belfort at UFC 126 in Las Vegas in February 2011.
Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Belfort at UFC 126 in Las Vegas in February 2011.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

OVER FIVE YEARS since their last meeting, Anderson Silva is being lined up to face fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort at UFC 197.

That’s according to a report from Brazilian media outlet Globo, which says that Silva versus Belfort will be the main event at Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena on 5 March, 2016.

The bout has yet to be confirmed by the UFC, but the report suggests that an official announcement is due before the end of the month.

Silva, who’s now 40, is regarded by many as MMA’s greatest fighter of all time, having made 10 successful defences of the UFC middleweight title between 2006 and ’13.

However, the Sao Paulo native’s legacy was detrimentally impacted back in January when he tested positive for banned substances — both before and after his uananimous-decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 183.

Silva was subsequently handed a one-year ban but if reports in his home country are accurate, ‘The Spider’ will make his comeback against Belfort in 2016.

Belfort, who was previously the UFC’s light-heavyweight champion, lost to middleweight champion Chris Weidman in May but returned to winning ways with a first-round stoppage of Dan Henderson earlier this month.

When Belfort, 38, previously took on Anderson Silva, it finished in the first round after Silva landed a front-kick to secure the KO in the main event at UFC 126 in February 2011.

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Paul Dollery

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