SPORTS

Anderson Silva returns to Octagon against Derek Brunson at UFC 208

Former middleweight champion and all-time great Anderson Silva will face Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn.

UFC president Dana White announced Silva’s return via social media on Friday. The bout will take place during the UFC’s pay-per-view event at Barclays Center.

Silva (33-8) hasn’t fought since a three-round decision loss to current champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on July 9. The fight was contested at 205 pounds, and Silva accepted it on two days’ notice after Jon Jones was pulled from the event because of a doping violation.

Silva, 41, had one other fight in 2016, against current middleweight champion Michael Bisping in a five-round nontitle bout in February. He lost via unanimous decision despite nearly knocking Bisping out in the third round.

Silva was scheduled to fight Uriah Hall at UFC 198 in May but was forced to pull out shortly before fight night to undergo emergency surgery for the removal of his gall bladder.

Arguably the greatest fighter of all time, Silva is officially winless since 2013. He surrendered his UFC title in a knockout loss to Chris Weidman, which ended a record run of 10 consecutive title defenses. In an immediate rematch against Weidman in late 2013, Silva suffered a gruesome injury when his leg snapped during an attempted kick.

He defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision in January 2015, but that result was later changed to a no-contest after Silva failed a drug test.

Brunson (16-4) holds a UFC record of 7-2, with four knockouts. Fighting out of Jackson-Wink MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Robert Whitaker in November. Brunson, 33, had won five in a row prior to that.