Season two heavyweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Rashad Evans, has been tabbed to replace the injured Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and will take on former light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell, during the main event at UFC 85 on June 7 from the O2 Arena in London, England, according to Sherdog.com.
Evans was originally booked to take on Thiago Silva at UFC 84: "Ill Will" on May 24; however, it appears that the UFC had to shuffle the deck to ensure that the "Iceman" went up against a notable opponent.
Rua ruptured the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left knee training for the bout just yesterday, leaving the promotion in a lurch because essentially all the top 205-pound fighters were matched up in other bouts.
Evans just headlined the UFC 78: "Validation" pay-per-view (PPV) event in November 2007, defeating Michael Bisping via split decision. He's been undefeated throughout his career and has posted six wins inside the Octagon and one draw.
Liddell is still riding high after his unanimous decision win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 79: "Nemesis" in December 2007. Prior to the win he dropped back-to-back losses to Rampage Jackson and Keith Jardine.
It's too bad it appears we're not going to see Evans and Silva battle it out -- was looking forward to that match up. Evans has the popularity and name recognition among casual fans that more than likely led to the selection.
The former Michigan State University wrestler will certainly test the legendary Liddell sprawl and poses several different challenges than Rua. However, Liddell has more than enough time to adjust to the style change (if he even needs it) with the fight still three months out.
Of course, there's no word on a new opponent for Silva at this time. Stay tuned.