UFC 208 is getting a late boost from an MMA legend.
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been added to the UFC’s Brooklyn debut with a bout against No. 8-ranked Derek Brunson on Feb. 11 at Barclays Center, the promotion announced Friday.
Silva (33-8, 1 NC) will be fighting for the first time since losing to Daniel Cormier with less than a week’s notice at UFC 200 last July. Brunson (16-4) will enter the cage following a loss to Robert Whittaker last November.
Silva is widely considered one of the best ever to compete in the UFC, but has not won a fight since October 2012. Upon joining the UFC in 2006, Silva began an unprecedented run that has yet to be matched. He won his first 16 fights in the promotion, including 10 middleweight title defenses and various light heavyweight challenges. He finally relinquished the belt upon losing to Long Island’s Chris Weidman by knockout at UFC 162 in July 2013. After breaking his leg in a rematch with Weidman later that year, Silva bounced back with a win against Nick Diaz in January 2015, only to have it overturned due to positive tests for performance enhancing drugs.
Following a one year suspension, Silva entered the cage twice in 2016, but was not been able to find a winning formula against Michael Bisping or Cormier.
UFC 208 is scheduled be headlined by the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout between former bantamweight champion Holly Holm and former Muay Thai world champion Germaine de Randamie.