The seemingly inevitable rematch now has a date in place.
Immediately following UFC on FX 3, Dana White revealed his plan to have the heavyweight championship rematch headline UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As of right now, a welterweight bout between BJ Penn and Rory MacDonald is also scheduled for the event.
(Whether you’re a Muay Thai fan or a foot-fetishist, that is one sexy kick.)
When BJ Penn turned down fights against Gilbert Melendez and Josh Koscheck, we figured it was because he was holding out for…well, a fourth fight against Matt Hughes, if you want to get specific. You know how it is with these old legends. They take a couple losses to younger contenders, and all of a sudden they’ll only consider fights that “make sense,” which usually means big-name opponents who are also on the downside of their careers.
In other words, we just assumed that Penn felt Melendez and Koscheck were too dangerous, and that facing either of them could be harmful to his legacy. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that Penn has now accepted a fight against young welterweight killer Rory MacDonald, who is not a superstar, but is one of the most dangerous sons-of-bitches in the UFC.
(Full press conference video, via YouTube.com/UFC. Man, Nick Ring is like a *god* in that town.)
Today’s UFC press conference in Calgary resulted in a tidal wave of major announcements, highlighted by two title-fight bookings and confirmations of three Canadian events in 2012. Here’s what we’re looking at…
- The middleweight championship rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen will take place at an 80,000-seat soccer stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, not Sao Paulo as originally reported. [Ed. note: R.I.P., Chael.] The exact venue hasn’t been confirmed yet, and the event is expected to take place at UFC 147 on either June 16th or June 23rd. It will be the third time in 10 months that Rio will host a UFC event. We’ll be keeping our eyes out for this guy.
- For the third year in a row, the UFC will hold three events in Canada this year: UFC 149 in Calgary (7/21), UFC 152 in Toronto (9/22), and UFC 154 in Montreal (11/17). No matchups have been scheduled for the Toronto and Montreal shows, although welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre said he’d like to compete at UFC 154 if his knee-surgery recovery allows it.