Antonio Silva is now scheduled to face former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez during EliteXC’s next major show on February 16 in Miami, Fla., according to the homepage of ProElite.com.
This will be the third different opponent advertised for a match with Silva for the Feb. 16 card. Shane Carwin was originally listed as Silva’s opponent on Showtime’s website but his name was removed with no explanation. Then, during a conference call to promote the main event between Kimbo Slice and Tank Abbott, EliteXC live events president Gary Shaw announced that Gary Turner of Cage Rage had been selected to face Silva.
The latest announcement regarding Rodriguez as Silva’s latest opponent comes on the heels of Rodriguez’s stint last year on VH1′s reality television show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” The show finished taping at the end of this past summer and Rodriguez’s first appearance on the show is scheduled to air this Thursday.
Rodriguez was once considered one of the top heavyweights in the world but allowed substance abuse problems to sidetrack his career. In addition to drug use, Rodriguez has also battled weight issues in recent years and was competing as a super heavyweight for an extended period of time.
Rodriguez began losing weight last year and competed once again as a heavyweight in a bout against Ben Rothwell during the IFL team finals this past September. Rodriguez lost via unanimous decision and drew negative attention to himself for spitting on Rothwell during the match after he became frustrated.
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ProElite.com also announced that Charles “Krazy Horse” Bennett is no longer scheduled to fight Victor “Joe Boxer” Valenzuela for King of the Cage on January 24.
According to the web site, Bennett is scheduled to be arraigned on January 22 following a recent arrest stemming from a domestic incident.
Bennett will be replaced by Matt Ver Halen on the 1/24 King of the Cage show. He is also scheduled to fight during the Internet portion of the Feb. 16 show but the ProElite.com report made no mention of his status for that card.