UFC President Dana White, Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen Hold a Historic Press Conference in Brazil!
It is UFC’s most anticipated fight of 2012, and it’s not going to take place in Brazil. The stars all aligned for the lucky people planning on seeing UFC 148, which was originally to feature a trilogy fight pitting Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz against Uriah Faber (which will now be moved to the co-main event), as Middleweight Champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva’s rematch with Chael Sonnen will now headline what can only be described as a Supercard.
The Middleweight Championship bout between Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) and Sonnen (28-10-1 MMA, 7-3 UFC) will take place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
“Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” UFC President Dana White said of trying to stage the fight in Brazil during a press conference just moments ago in Rio de Janeiro. “We couldn’t pull it off fast enough.”
Zuffa, the parent company of UFC, first hoped to hold Silva vs. Sonnen II in Sao Paulo before recently announcing it would take place in Rio at Joao Havelange Stadium. But a scheduled United Nations conference on sustainable development in Rio the same week put a halt in those plans. Brazilian tourism officials didn’t want both events to take place simultaneously, and there weren’t enough hotel rooms to accommodate the demand.
“Regardless of where this fight is,” Silva said. “I’ll be representing Brazil.”
A scaled down version of UFC 147 will still commence, with the venue switched to an arena. “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” coaches Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC) and Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) will stay on the card, and UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo appears to be set to headline.
UFC 148, which now features Silva-Sonnen III and Cruz-Faber III, also features a retirement fight for the legendary Tito Ortiz (16-10-1 MMA, 15-10-1 UFC), who will also enter the Octagon for a Trilogy fight against Forrest Griffin (18-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC).
“We will be the biggest sporting event in the history of combat,” Sonnem said at the press conference this morning. “My plan was to come here, take your money and beat him right here (in Brazil). I’m going to have to wait and stomp him July 7 and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
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