Late last week, a report surfaced that the highly-anticipated rematch between middleweight king Anderson Silva (Pictured) and Chael Sonnen would be plucked from Brazil and pushed back to UFC 148. The rumor mill also suggested Silva would be so upset with the move that he’d decline the fight, leaving UFC president Dana White with no choice but to strip Silva of his title.
White addressed both of those topics following Saturday’s UFC 145 post-fight press conference.
“We had the whole arena mapped out and ready to go,” White said of the Octagon’s plans. “We were pumped and ready for that. The whole thing just fell apart.
“We’re working on it still at this minute.”
UFC 147 was expected to take place at Engenhão Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 23rd. However, the United Nations is hosting their conference in the city from June 20-22. The thousands that are scheduled to attend the UN’s gathering have hoarded most of the hotel rooms in the local area.
“If we can’t do it in Brazil and people are upset, I get it. I’m upset, too,” White expressed. “But that’s the way it’s happening. It’s working out that way that we might not be able to do that fight there. It’s not my fault.
“I said it before and I’ll say it again, that’s not only the biggest fight in the UFC, I think it’s one of the biggest sporting events of the year. That fight is going to be done the right way. We’re not going to half-ass that thing and say, ‘Oh, let’s go over to this arena over here.’ It’s going to be a big fight.”
If the blockbuster bout gets pushed back two weeks to July 7th and relocated to Las Vegas, will “The Spider” refuse to defend his throne without home-cage advantage? Moreover, will White yank his belt away if he attempts to rebel?
“That is [expletive],” White flatly stated. “That is such a [expletive] lie. It’s crazy. Wherever that came from, if it was a media source or whoever said it, it’s an absolute flat-out lie. It makes me sick. Never once did I say that.
“Anderson and I haven’t had a problem about this fight. There’s reports out of Brazil with Anderson saying, ‘I want to fight in Brazil,’ which he does. Of course he wants to fight Chael Sonnen in Brazil. I get it. And Chael Sonnen is 100 percent willing to go to Brazil and fight him.”
White and Sonnen are hopping on a private jet destined for Brazil to meet up with Silva for a Tuesday press conference. They hope to announce a resolution to the situation during the presser in jiu jitsu country.