Three headlining fights for the what has become the UFC’s biggest show of the year during New Year’s Eve weekend in Las Vegas have been confirmed for UFC 92 on Dec. 27.
Season one light heavyweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Forrest Griffin will defend his UFC light heavyweight title vs. season two heavyweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” Rashad Evans; Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira will defend his UFC interim heavyweight title vs. former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir; and former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva and former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will square off for the third time.
The UFC has yet to formally announce the fights on its website but news of the three fights being added to UFC 92 was first reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole.
Griffin will be defending his title for the first time since winning the belt following a unanimous decision victory against Jackson at UFC 86 this past July. It had been anticipated that his first defense would come against Chuck Liddell, but the undefeated Evans spoiled those plans and forced his way into the title picture after knocking out Liddell at UFC 88.
The matchup between Nogueira and Mir will be the culmination of their dual-forays into reality television as current coaches during the eighth installment of the hit series “The Ultimate Fighter.” UFC President Dana White previously announced that the winner of Nogueira vs. Mir will advance to face the winner of the UFC heavyweight title fight between Randy Couture and Brock Lesnar that’s slated for UFC 91 on Nov. 15.
For Jackson and Silva, this will be the third installment of a trilogy that began during the finals of PRIDE’s 2003 middleweight Grand Prix tournament in Japan on Nov. 19 of that year. After recording a stunning second round TKO vs. Liddell and spoiling a much-anticipated dream match between Liddell and Silva, Jackson faced Silva in the final, where he was TKO’d at 6:28 of round 1.
The two rematched less than a year later at PRIDE 28 in October 2004 and it was Silva who once again got the better of Jackson following a knockout at 3:26 of round 2.
The latest tentative lineup for UFC 92 is now as follows:
- Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans for UFC light heavyweight title
- Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir for the interim UFC heavyweight title
- Quinton Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
- C.B. Dollaway vs. Jorge Rivera
- Dean Lister vs. Yushin Okami
- Mustafa Al-Turk vs. Cheick Kongo
- Brad Blackburn vs. Ryo Chonan
- Ivan Serati vs. TBA