Former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin (16-5) is in talks to return to the eight-sided cage against hard-hitting Brazilian import Thiago Silva (13-1) at UFC 101 in Portland, Oregon, on August 8, according to Tatame.com.
The report indicates that while nothing is official, the 205-pound showdown is likely to go down at the end of summer.
The light heavyweight winner of the inaugural season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) until June 27, 2009 due to a broken left hand that he suffered in the second round of his fight against Rashad Evans at UFC 92 "The Ultimate 2008" last December.
Griffin apparently needed to have pins surgically inserted into the hand to expedite the healing process. He is expected to be cleared to resume punching as early as next week, and could conceivably be ready in time for August.
Prior to the loss to "Sugar," Griffin had taken three straight, including a submission win over Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 76 and a unanimous decision over Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 86 to claim the 205-pound title.
His planned return at UFC 101 won't be an easy one.
Silva has made a habit of demolishing his opponents. Before getting stopped at UFC 94 "St. Pierre vs. Penn 2" by uber-enigma Lyoto Machida on January 31, Silva had finished 12 of his 13 fights, including 10 (T)KO's.
Silva brings the fierce Chute Boxe aggression into his fights (even though he is now no longer with the camp). He has an explosive mix of punches and kicks, which can often leave him open to counter strikes.
However, Silva has proven that he can take punishment and dish out more … just ask Tomasz Drwal, Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes.
UFC 101 is expected to feature a main event between Randy "The Natural" Couture as he locks horns with Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira in a dream match-up that most fans expected to see at UFC 98 on May 23 before Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir played spoiler roles in the opening round of the mini heavyweight tournament created in late 2008 to crown an undisputed division champion.
Griffin, Silva, Couture and Nogueira. UFC 101 is beginning to shape up quite nicely -- and we're still five months away.
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