Strikeforce heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum (12-4-1) is poised to welcome former Elite XC heavyweight champion Antonio Silva (13-1) back into the United States when they face off at the Nov. 7 "Fedor vs. Rogers" event from the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, according to Sherdog.com.
"Junior" was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) for a full year in July 2008 following his championship winning performance at Elite XC: "Unfinished Business" because he tested positive for Boldenone -- an anabolic steroid developed for veterinary use.
The Brazilian giant defied that ruling by taking a fight with Sengoku last January due to financial difficulties. Rulings from athletic commissions in the United States aren’t recognized in Japan, and according to Silva’s manager Alex Davis, his fighter couldn’t afford to sit out for a year.
"Bigfoot" has maintained his innocence throughout the entire ordeal. In fact, he’s the first fighter to take legal action against a ruling from the CSAC when he sued them (unsuccessfully) earlier this year.
No hard feelings, according to CSAC Executive Officer Dave Thornton:
"There is no action pending against Mr. Silva nor is any contemplated ... he is clear to fight in California or any other state as long as he fulfills all other requirements."
Silva may be back, but don't expect a very warm welcome from Werdum.
After a successful run in the now-defunt PRIDE FC organization, the Brazilian went 2-2 upon joining the UFC in April 2007. After losing a cautious slapfest against Andrei Arlovski at UFC 70, Werdum put together two straight TKO victories over Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera.
"Vai Cavalo" seemed to be on the cusp of a title shot, only to get bounced from the promotion when he was upset (and uppercut) by out-of-the-blue bruiser Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90 in Oct. 2008.
He returned to action at Strikeforce "Carano vs. Cyborg" after signing with the San Jose-based organization over the summer. Werdum made quick work of Mike Kyle, submitting him in the first round after Alistair Overeem bailed on the scheduled fight to heal a chronic hand injury.
A win over Silva and he could face the victor of "Fedor vs. Rogers," assuming "Demolition Man" remains in Japan.
Headlining the Nov. 7 event will be a heavyweight clash between former PRIDE champion Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko and undefeated knockout artist Brett "The Grim" Rogers.
Several of the promotion’s other top fighters will be in action on the card as well, including a Strikeforce middleweight title bout pitting Jake Shields vs. Jason "Mayhem" Miller for the 185-pound belt recently vacated by budding film star Cung Le.
For more on Strikeforce: "Fedor vs. Rogers" click here.