The Spider is back.
ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports that former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva will return to the Octagon on Feb. 9 to face rising prospect Israel Adesanya at UFC 234.
Silva has not competed since UFC 208 in February 2017 when he defeated Derek Brunson by unanimous decision. Silva failed a United States Anti-Doping Agency drug test on October 26, 2017 prior to a scheduled bout against Kelvin Gastelum. In July 2018, USADA exonerated Silva from the failed test after finding contaminated dietary supplements. Silva agreed to serve a one-year suspension dating back to November 2017.
Adesanya is currently undefeated in MMA with a professional record of 15-0. He recently defeated Brunson at UFC 230 earlier this month, stopping the veteran with a barrage of strikes in the final seconds of the first round.
At the UFC 230 post-fight press conference, Adesanya called Silva his idol and said a fight with Silva "interests me, but we don't have to do it."
The bout will serve as the co-main event for UFC 234.
UFC 234 is scheduled for Feb. 9 (Feb. 10 local) at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The night will be headlined by a UFC Middleweight Title fight between champion Robert Whittaker and challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Fightful will provide live coverage of the event.