UFC 79: Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva official

chuck liddell and wanderlei silva ufc december
Former champions Chuck Liddell (20-5) and Wanderlei Silva (31-7-1) will indeed clash in a light heavyweight super fight at UFC 79: "Nemesis" on December 29 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UFC President Dana White made the highly anticipated (and well-known) announcement during a commercial break for the 2007 Scream Awards on the Spike television network this evening.

Here's a bit of what he had to say:

"This is the most anticipated fight in the history of mixed martial arts.... It is the perfect way to end 2007."

Fans can now take a collective deep sigh of relief because even though all signs pointed to a match up between the two icons it was never really official until it came from the UFC brass.

The fight has been on-and-off since both 205-pound fighters held the belts in their respective organizations -- Liddell for the UFC and Silva for PRIDE FC.

It almost went down during a tournament-style event back in 2003, PRIDE: Final Conflict. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, however, played the role of spoiler that night, taking out "The Iceman" in the semifinals in an upset.

He went on to lose later that night to "The Axe Murderer."

Since that time the bout between Liddell and Silva has taken on a life of its own. In fact, when the two were reigning champions back in 2006, White made the bold move of bringing Silva into the Octagon and announced that the two champions would finally square off.

It never happened for various reasons.

Then earlier this year, as the PRIDE organization was about to fold, Silva was knocked out by Dan Henderson, losing his middleweight title.

At the time, White said that PRIDE had thrown away the biggest fight in the history of the sport.

That is until Liddell lost his belt to Rampage three months later at UFC 71, and then lost his next fight against Keith Jardine -- a fight in which fans were teased again with the potential showdown.

"The Dean of Mean" stepped in for Silva at UFC 76 last month after negotiations on a date for the bout with the Brazilian fell through at the last minute.

Finally ... After all these years and teases the fight is booked once and for all. And even if it doesn't have the same value in terms of declaring an international or unified champion, it will settle one of the longest-running (and perhaps most intriguing) debates in the relatively brief history of MMA:

Who wins a fight between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva?

We'll find out on New Year's Eve weekend.

See ... Dreams really do come true.

For the most recent rumored UFC 79 fight card click here. Note: UFC.com has also issued an official press release on the fight that can be found here.

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