UFC 126 Preview: Silva vs. Belfort Biggest Middleweight Championship Bout Ever?

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UFC 126 Preview: Silva vs. Belfort Biggest Middleweight Championship Bout Ever?

If you know what MMA stands for, you know that UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva is set to face arguably his stiffest challenge since ascending to the 185-pound throne at UFC 126 on Saturday night.

When the champ enters the Octagon at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, he will share the eight-sided space with one of mixed martial arts' most explosive gladiators in fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort.

The engagement will also mark an opportunity for "The Spider" to extend his UFC record with an eighth consecutive title defense.

Needless to say, the hype for what might be the tastiest Super Bowl appetizer ever concocted has been off the charts.

Neutral observers, adoring fans and skeptics alike eagerly anticipate Silva's upcoming date with a genuinely dangerous antagonist in "The Phenom."

Whatever your opinion of the recent insurgents to Anderson's reign, few would argue the 35-year-old Silva has seen as elite an artist in the discipline of striking as his 33-year-old adversary.

Well, the weigh-ins on Friday afternoon did little to defuse the ticking time bomb that's set to explode tomorrow evening.

Both men appeared to be fueled by serious sporting animosity and Silva, ever the showman, broke out a special treat from his bag of tricks. He was rocking an eerie Phantom of the Opera-type mask for his stare down with Belfort and The Phenom didn't look like he was in the mood for the shenanigans.

But that's to be expected.

What was shocking—OK, maybe not, but work with me here—was Joe Rogan's proclamation that Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort is the biggest middleweight championship bout in the history of the organization.

The comedian has been more prone to "holy hyperbole, Batman" sound bytes since moving to the fore of the UFC's promotional machine, but is this one them?

Take a look and decide for yourself.

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