MMA Junkie is reporting that a deal with Spike TV to air UFC 89 live from England is close to being finalized. As of right now, the main event features Michael Bisping vs. Chris Leben in a middleweight clash but according to the report, a new main event is being talked about:
After this past weekend’s UFC Fight Night 14 event in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who defeated James Irvin in the event’s headline bout, will likely next fight Patrick Cote. (Yushin Okami had been next in line for the title shot, but he recently suffered a broken hand while training.)
White said that if Silva fights in September at UFC 88, that it would likely be against Cote.
However, one source close to the fighter tells MMAjunkie.com that Silva, largely considered the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, could instead be added to the UFC 89 fight card in Birmingham to bolster the nationally televised line-up. (And UFC 88 would instead feature its originally scheduled pay-per-view main event of Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans.)
This could be very big for the organization because they can now begin to make a star out of Anderson Silva. We’ve known for a long time now that Silva is one of the most devastating fighters on the planet and is widely considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world but because he doesn’t speak English and because a lot of new fans have never been exposed to him and his style, he is yet to be a big draw on pay-per-view.
A knockout win over Patrick Cote, a fighter than fans are familiar with from TUF and other UFC Fight Nights, on national television would go a long way toward building Silva’s status as a true star in the minds of fans.