On Saturday, January 2, 2010, the UFC will kick off a new decade of MMA with UFC 108 – Evans vs. Silva. The event will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fight card for this event has gone through numerous changes due to injuries and was finally completed this week with ten confirmed bouts. The five main card bouts are scheduled to air on the live PPV broadcast, while two additional bouts featuring Martin Kampmann vs. Jacob Volkmann and Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon will be televised on Spike right before the PPV airs. UFC 108 will be televised on PPV starting at 10 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. PST.
The main event of the evening will be a light-heavyweight bout between Rashad Evans and Thiago Silva, who are two men looking to start off 2010 with a bang, after each suffering their first career loss in 2009 to the same man, the current UFC light-heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Adding intrigue to this bout is the fact that Silva bounced back from his loss to Machida by defeating Evans’ best friend and teammate Keith Jardine via TKO at UFC 102 in August. Evans coached opposite Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, after losing his belt to Machida in May. Evans and Jackson were scheduled to fight in December at UFC 107, but the bout was canceled when Jackson opted to be cast in the "A-Team" movie, which began shooting last fall. Evans then quickly requested a fight with Silva, looking to seek revenge for the vicious TKO win he had over Jardine last summer.
The main card will also feature a classic grappler vs. striker match in the welterweight division. Dustin Hazelett, who had his bout at UFC 106 in November scratched when Karo Parisyan dropped off the card just a few days before the bout, will finally get to see his first action since rehabbing a knee injury that kept him out of action in 2009. Hazelett has quickly become one of the most exciting submission fighters in MMA, after earning three impressive "Submission of the Night" awards in the UFC. Hazelett is a black belt in jiu-jitsu armed with a dangerous guard and a relentless assortment of submission attacks from anywhere on the ground. He will be meeting up with one of the most polished and explosive Muay Thai practitioners in the UFC in Paul Daley. Daley, who was originally scheduled to fight Carlos Condit, will now have to turn his attention to Hazelett, who took the fight on short notice after Condit had to pull out. Daley made his UFC debut in September with a first round TKO of Martin Kampmann, who was one win away from a title shot. The winner of this bout will find themselves right in the thick of things at the top of the UFC welterweight division.
The main card will also be fully represented in the lightweight division with a pair of bouts that appear to be early contenders for possible "Fight of the Night" honors. The first of the two 155-pound main card clashes will see the return of the always popular Joe Lauzon, who was also a standout on TUF 5. He will look to continue his winning ways against the hard-hitting Canadian kickboxer Sam Stout in another bout that will feature a high-level grappler (Lauzon) vs. a high-level striker (Stout). The other lightweight tilt will continue that theme as the former collegiate wrestler Jim Miller will square off with K-1 kickboxing star Duane Ludwig. Miller was originally set to meet Tyson Griffin, but had that bout replaced with a shot at former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk after Griffin was injured. Then Sherk too got injured preparing for the bout. Ludwig agreed to take the bout with Miller on short notice after coming off a first round TKO over fellow UFC veteran Ryan Roberts in Ludwig’s home state of Colorado less than a month ago. This bout will be Ludwig’s first appearance in the Octagon in three years.
The final bout on the main card will take place in the heavyweight division, as Junior Dos Santos takes on Gilbert Yvel. Dos Santos has quickly climbed into everyone’s consciousness by leaving his first three UFC opponents unconscious. Since making his UFC debut in October 2008, he has earned devastating TKO wins over the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. He will now face arguably and even more dangerous striker in PRIDE veteran Gilbert Yvel. During his years in PRIDE, Yvel developed a reputation as one of the most feared strikers in the division. Yvel is equipped with Muay Thai skills that are equally technical and powerful. He is known for his signature flying knee, but possesses the ability to leave his opponents unconscious with any of the eight points of his body he uses to strike. After training Muay Thai at the famed Vos Gym in Amsterdam for years, Yvel relocated to Las Vegas last year to work on the rest of his MMA game.
-Rashad Evans vs. Thiago Silva (Light-Heavyweight Bout)
-Dustin Hazelett vs. Paul Daley (172-pound Catchweight Bout)
-Joe Lauzon vs. Sam Stout (Lightweight Bout)
-Jim Miller vs. Duane Ludwig (Lightweight Bout)
-Junior Dos Santos vs. Gilbert Yvel (Heavyweight Bout)
-Martin Kampmann vs. Jacob Volkmann (Welterweight Bout)
-Cole Miller vs. Dan Lauzon (Lightweight Bout)
-Mark Muñoz vs. Ryan Jensen (Middleweight Bout)
-Mike Pyle vs. Jake Ellenberger (Welterweight Bout)
-Rafaello Oliveira vs. John Gunderson (Lightweight Bout)