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Well, this is a trilogy bout we weren’t quite expecting to see this week. 

According to a report by Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting, who cited a Sunday announcement on Globo’s Fantastico, former UFC middleweight rivals Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will square off one final time — this time under boxing rules on July 15 in Brazil. As of yet, the finer points of the bout — including the number of rounds and if it will be a professional or exhibition contest — have yet to be confirmed.

The news follows swiftly from reports in recent days that Silva, who turned 49 last month, was seeking one last outing in a combat sports arena. The former longtime UFC 185-pound champion last competed in October 2022 where he was defeated in an eight-round professional boxing bout opposite Jake Paul. Silva’s boxing ledger currently stands at 3-2, including wins over former UFC champ Tito Ortiz and boxing world champ Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Sonnen, who at 47 is two years Silva’s junior, will make his professional boxing debut in the July event, which comes several years after his final bout in the mixed martial arts — a June 2019 loss to Lyoto Machida.

Silva and Sonnen combined for two world title matches in a UFC rivalry often lauded as among the most intense in the organisation’s history. In their first encounter in August 2010, Silva scored a late fifth-round submission win in a fight that had been largely dominated by the American grappler.

Silva found a more conclusive win — a second round TKO — in their rematch a little under two years later.