These free TV cards ... they ain't half bad.
Wanderlei Silva will return to the "Land of the Rising Sun" when he battles Brian Stann in a special light heavyweight feature fight in the UFC on FUEL TV 8 main event, which was recently made official (get tickets here) for the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on March 3, 2013.
Is it too much to ask for Lenne Hardt?
Silva (34-12) initially passed on this fight in early 2011, fearing a bout opposite the decorated war hero would turn him into a "villain" in the eyes of the fans. I don't think that would be much of a concern overseas, where Silva made a name for himself in PRIDE for his wild fights and violent finishes.
But are those days ancient history?
"The Axe Murderer" is just 3-5 since transitioning to the ranks of UFC, most recently dropping a five round unanimous decision to fellow aging veteran Rich Franklin in the UFC 147 pay-per-view (PPV) main event from Jornalista Felipe Drumond Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Perhaps a return to his old stomping grounds is just what the doctor ordered?
Stann (12-5), meanwhile, now gets the chance to fight "one of his favorite fighters ever." His trip back up to 205 pounds, a place he used to call home under the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) banner, is only expected to be a one time thing.
He still has work to do as a middleweight.
The "All American" saw his title hopes get squashed by British bad boy Michael Bisping, who survived an early scare to come back and do just enough to squeak past the armed forces veteran with a unanimous decision win. Prior to that, Stann was 1-1, knocking out Alessio Sakara after getting subbed by Chael Sonnen.
This one should be a (wait for it) ... BANGFEST.
UFC on FUEL TV 8 will also feature a lightweight contest that pits Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi while Mark Hunt tries to dazzle the Japanese fans by trading leather with fellow heavyweight striker Stefan Struve.
For all the latest and greatest UFC on FUEL TV 8 news and notes click here.