Given that he fought Michael Bisping back in January, it's odd to say that Anderson Silva 'is back'. However, in the sense that he's once again relevant at the very top of the UFC, the Brazilian legend really is back.
41 year old Silva stepped in at last minute to fill the slot vacated by Jon Jones this week. The fight will be third from the top of the bill and it will be a non-title light-heavyweight bout, Silva first at 205 since his last official win in the Octagon back in October 2012.
Cormier has since issued a statement to MMA Fighting expressing his gratitude to Silva
I am honoured to share the Octagon with the one of the greatest fighters of all time. This is a very tough fight for me, and I have to fight smart and to do my best in order to win this fight. Thank you Anderson for stepping up, and thanks to Dana White and the UFC for making this happen. Now let's go do this.
But that leads us on to the issue of the headline fight of what is being billed as the biggest night in UFC history. Yesterday, after Jones' removal it was all on Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt to top the bill, today however, there appears to have been another late turn of events.
Per White, Miesha Tate vs. Amanda Nunes is now the MAIN EVENT of UFC 200. Brock Lesnar and Mark Hunt back to co-main.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 8, 2016
Confirmed #UFC200 @dc_mma vs @SpiderAnderson at 205lbs, 3 round fight, no title. @MieshaTate vs @Amanda_Leoa new main event.
— Gareth A Davies (@GarethADaviesDT) July 8, 2016
Rather than Lesnar vs Hunt, Cormier vs Silva or Edgar vs Aldo, Dana White and co. have turned to the only (interim excluded) title fight of the night, Tate vs Nunes, to close out the show.
It must be said, as much as the UFC deserve serious respect for championing gender parity in sport, it's an odd decision. You need only look at Demetrious Johnson's billing at UFC 197 to know that undisputed title fights aren't necessarily on top of the UFC's list of criteria to headline a card.
Lesnar vs Hunt was penciled in as the main event. However, that one was never going to go to five rounds, but even at that, a three round main event is not out of the question. Better still, allow Aldo and Edgar to go full five rounds and top the bill.
We may yet find out a better reason for it all, whatever that may be, the reality is that Tate vs Nunes is now the main event of UFC 200.