Fresh off a dominating win over Brandon Vera at UFC 125, light heavyweight Thiago Silva (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) next will fight former champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (31-8 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a UFC 130 bout expected to have a major impact on the title picture.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) verbal agreements are in place for the fight.
UFC 130 takes place May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Jackson vs. Silva likely will be part of the pay-per-view main card, possibly in a headlining or co-headlining spot.
Despite fighting for the first time in a year due to injuries, Silva looked sharp in a lopsided unanimous-decision win over Vera this past week. Silva dominated the fight on the mat with frequent takedowns, a smothering top game, and ground and pound that ultimately broke his opponent's nose. In the end, the judges awarded the Brazilian the decision via scores of 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Prior to the victory, Silva opened his career with a 13-0 mark but then went 1-2 with losses to former champs Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans and a knockout win over Keith Jardine.
Jackson, meanwhile, recently got back into the title picture and rebounded from his own loss to Evans with a close split-decision victory over Machida in November's UFC 123 headliner. It was his third win in the four fights since he lost his belt to Forrest Griffin in 2008. The former PRIDE star's other recent victories came over Wanderlei Silva (knockout) and Jardine (decision).