Antonio Silva. Photo courtesy of EliteXC.
Our friend Sam Caplan over at FiveOuncesOfPain.com is reporting that EliteXC is expected to announce a fight between Antonio “Junior” Silva and Justin Eilers for their upcoming show on CBS on July 26. Sam’s source is EliteXC Vice President, Jared Shaw. It was later confirmed by Monte Cox, Eilers’ manager.
A verbal agreement for Antonio Silva to fight former UFC heavyweight title challenger Justin Eilers during EliteXC’s second-ever CBS telecast on July 26 has been secured.
EliteXC Vice President Jared Shaw revealed the news when contacted by FiveOuncesOfPain.com earlier this afternoon.
Five Ounces of Pain later contacted Eilers’ manager, Monte Cox, who indicated that it is their intention to FAX a signed contract to EliteXC officials later today.
It is still uncertain whether the Silva vs. Eilers fight will be for the vacant EliteXC heavyweight title, but Shaw indicated a belt will more than likely be at stake when the two square off.
Silva is one of the brightest heavyweight prospects in MMA. He has recorded wins over Tengis Tedoradze, Ruben “Warpath” Villareal, Tom Erikson, and Wesley “Cabbage” Correia. His most recent victory, a split decision over former UFC champion Ricco Rodriquez was disappointing in many respects, so I’d fully expect Silva to come out very strong.
Justin Eilers is a banger pure and simple. His gameplan is to hit and be hit until someone falls. While this has made him quite successful against the majority of competition (he is currently riding a 3 fight win streak, 10 out of 11), Justin has generally fallen short when facing high level competition. His style has produced highlight reel KO losses against Andre Arlovski, Brandon Vera, and Paul Buentello while in the UFC.
Unfortunately, compared to the many names that have been floated around as possible opponents for Silva, this one is a bit disappointing when one considers it will likely be a title fight. Rather than match Silva up against another EliteXC prospect like Brett Rogers, IFL Champion Roy Nelson, or Pride veteran Sergei Kharitonov, they chose to sign Eilers for a title shot. Mr. Shaw says guys either refused the fight or priced themselves out of the market. IMO, none of the rumored opponents would have refused the fight. Thus pay was the only concern. If as Shaw’s father has stated many times, that the fighter’s are first and foremost in EliteXC, that’s pretty weak that they refused to pay for a legitimate title contender.