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Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva scheduled to meet at UFC 146

Las Vegas fighter welcomes Strikeforce veteran to the octagon

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Leila Navidi

Roy Nelson spars during open workouts for UFC 143 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012.

UFC 143 Werdum vs. Nelson

Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum embrace after their heavyweight fight Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Werdum won by decision. Launch slideshow »

Roy Nelson is staying in the UFC’s heavyweight division for now.

UFC officials confirmed Wednesday that Nelson (16-7 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will meet Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in heavyweight action at UFC 146 on May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The Las Vegas native looks to break out of a recent 1-3 skid at the event headlined by Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. Nelson recently fell to Fabricio Werdum via unanimous decision at UFC 143.

Following the loss, “Big Country” made a bet with a friend that could result in him trying to lose enough weight to fight in the light heavyweight division. Nelson promised he would 'try' to make the 205-pound weight limit if he could add 100,000 fans on his facebook page.

“Just weighed myself (at) 264 pounds,” Nelson tweeted Monday, “going to the gym just in case I lose this bet.”

The wager will have to wait until after he welcomes Silva to the UFC. “Bigfoot” comes to the UFC after a five-fight run in Strikeforce.

He went 3-2 in the promotion, notably defeating Fedor Emelianenko by second-round TKO in February 2011 as a 5-to-1 underdog. But a first-round knockout loss to Daniel Cormier followed the momentous victory.

Nelson vs. Silva, which is the ninth bout announced for UFC 146, will likely take place on the pay-per-view portion of the card. Tickets to the event are scheduled to go on sale March 30.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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