The good news? Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will indeed rematch one another this summer. The bad news, at least for Brazilian fans, is that the mega bout will not take place in Brazil as originally planned, but rather in Las Vegas.
UFC President Dana White convened a press conference in Rio this morning, breaking the news alongside middleweight champion Silva and #1 contender Sonnen. White said he wanted to secure a soccer stadium in either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janiero for UFC 147, with Silva vs. Sonnen headlining, but that “everything that could go wrong, went wrong.” That included a United Nations conference being scheduled in Rio during the weekend UFC 147 was originally scheduled for, creating an insurmountable logistical nightmare for the promotion.
Silva vs. Sonnen II will now be moved to UFC 148 on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas. UFC 147 will still take place in Brazil, though White said a venue has yet to be secured. The event is scheduled to feature the rematch between Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, as well as the middleweight and featherweight finals of TUF Brazil. White said that the UFC is also working on moving Jose Aldo to that card from his UFC 149 engagement, against an opponent to be named later.
During today’s press conference, Anderson Silva said that he was “not happy that the fight wont be in Brazil,” but that he has “fans worldwide…nothing will really change.”
Sonnen, who’s had a well-documented history of insulting Brazil and its people, also said he was disappointed to not be fighting in the country. “Especially [losing out on] coming to a stadium,” Sonnen explained. “St. Pierre vs. Shields was in a stadium with 55,000 people watching and I was hoping to be a part of breaking that…The plan was to come here, take your money, come take [Silva's] belt and go back to America.”