Franklin/Silva headlines but Vera/Sylvia is biggest fight of the night
Rich "Ace" Franklin vs. Anderson "The Spider" Silva
Brandon "The Truth" Vera vs. Tim "The Maine-iac" Sylvia
As a UFC fan - I'm absolutely geeked about tonight. Not only will I be rooting for Rich Franklin not to be made into a vegetable by Anderson Silva, but it's the long-awaited return to the Octagon by Brandon Vera. [Full Fight Card]
When last we saw Vera he was coming off a devastating KO of Frank Mir in UFC 65. That was last November. After that fight Vera was set up for a title shot against then-champ Sylvia. Problems with management kept him out of the octagon for the last 11 months, but now he's back and again a fight away from a shot at the belt.
The rumor is that the winner of Sylvia/Vera will have a title shot in early 2008. According to Yahoo! Sports/MMAjunkie.com:
The winner, provided he escapes without a serious injury, will fight for the vacant title in early 2008. Two scenarios have been discussed. In one, the winner would face the winner of the Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Cheick Kongo match taking place sometime this winter. The second is Nogueira and Kongo won’t fight, and Nogueira will face the Vera-Sylvia winner in the championship match.
Needless to say, this is a fairly big fight. Vera's skill and speed versus Sylvia's size and experience. The near future of the heavyweight division could very well be decided tonight. And a Vera win could decide the long-term future of the UFC's "biggest" division. Tonight we find out if the future is now.
UFC 77: Hostile Territory is tonight on Pay-Per-View at 10pm Eastern.