UFC 85 has a surprise main event ... and it's a good one.
Former welterweight champion Matt Hughes (42-6) and Thiago Alves (14-3) will step up to the plate, inking a fight contract to go toe-to-toe during the main event at UFC 85 at the O2 Arena in London, England, on June 7, according to Matt-Hughes.com.
The exciting showdown between two of the top performers in the 170-pound division was booked to help fill the void of the injured Chuck Liddell, who had to withdraw from his fight with Rashad Evans because of a torn hamstring.
Here's a snip:
"June 7th, in England, I fight Thiago Alves. The fight is confirmed, it will be the main event for the card. Dana just called me with the news. Chuck got hurt and couldn’t fight, so he needed a replacement and called me and I said yes. More news as I get it. No matter what happens in this fight, I’ve got Serra next."
Wow ... once again Hughes comes up big to save a major pay-per-view (PPV) event -- he agreed to fight Georges St. Pierre when Matt Serra pulled out just six weeks prior to their proposed clash at UFC 79: "Nemesis" in December 2007.
Hughes lost that bout via second round submission, derailing his immediate chances at one last title run prior to his looming retirement (Hughes has admitted that he has about three fights left in the tank.)
It was widely known that he would finally settle the score with Serra after "The Terror" lost his welterweight bout to St. Pierre this past weekend.
Things have changed for now ... that showdown is apparently still guaranteed regardless of what happens in the United Kingdom.
Alves is coming off the biggest win of his career -- a technical knockout of top division contender Karo Parisyan at UFC Fight Night 13. "The Pitbull" is on a five fight win streak since a loss to Jon Fitch back in 2006.
Naturally, with a win over Parisyan, as well as Hughes, Alves would clearly distinguish himself as the next title challenger after St. Pierre and Fitch face off later on this year.
The rumored bout between Michael Bisping and Chris Leben is still possible; however, "The Count" has apparently not signed the bout agreement. And now that he won't be the main event perhaps he's lost his desire to do so altogether.
We'll keep you posted on that.
For now check out the latest UFC 85 fight card click here.
Nice work, Joe Silva.