Brazilians can thank the United Nations for spoiling one of the most-anticipated live sporting events in the country’s history. Because of the UN’s conference from June 20-22, the rematch between UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva (Pictured) and Chael Sonnen has been relocated to Las Vegas.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement Tuesday during a press conference in Brazil.
The UFC was hoping to pack Engenhão Stadium – which holds approximately 47,000 capacity for soccer matches, but the UFC should be able to increase that number significantly by reconfiguring the arena to accommodate their cage – in Rio de Janeiro for “UFC 147: Silva vs. Sonnen II.” However, the UN was hoarding most of the local hotel rooms for their convention and the town just wasn’t big enough for the two of them.
The organization is still hoping to host UFC 147 in Brazil on June 23rd, though they are still working on securing a venue. The rematch between Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva has been promoted to the show’s main event.
The icons are currently serving as opposing coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil.”
UFC 148 jumps off inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Nevada on July 7th. The trilogy between bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber was originally scheduled to headline the festivities, but the 135-pounders will now be bumped to the card’s co-featured contest.
After manhandling Silva for nearly five complete rounds at UFC 117, Sonnen was abruptly submitted by “The Spider” with only 110 ticks remaining on the clock. Since the August 2010 defeat, Sonnen has been doing everything within his power to land a rematch – including insulting every Brazilian fighter within earshot.
Here is UFC 148’s revised roster:
Gleison Tibau vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Riki Fukuda vs. Constantinos Philippou
Melvin Guillard vs. Fabricio Camoes
Renan Barao vs. Ivan Menjivar
Demian Maia vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin
Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch
Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le
Urijah Faber vs. Dominick Cruz (UFC Bantamweight Champion)
Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion)