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The UFC Is Leaving Rio Show Matchmaking Up to the Fans

(“This motherf*cker is going to buy my kids new Maseratis.”)

Tatame reported yesterday that, despite how screwed up Fight of the Night voting at UFC 124 ended up after Zuffa opened up the polls to the fans to decide who should win the award (prompting Dana White to assert that fans would never decide such things again), the promotion has decided to allow fans to have their say about which 12 Brazilian fighters will fight on the August 27 card in Rio de Janeiro.

Notably absent from the ballot is UFC Hall-of-Famer Royce Gracie, who was present at Zuffa’s December press conference in Rio announcing the event. At the event, he told reporters, “This return of UFC to Brazil touched me, made me feel the desire to come back to the Octagon. Everything has being negotiated with Dana White. Let’s wait.”

It may be a coincidence, but Gracie mysteriously appeared on the middleweight roster at UFC.com this week. It seems somewhat suspicious considering he competed the majority of his non-open-weight tournament career at welterweight, except for a handful of catchweight bouts at 175 including his UFC 60 fight with Mat Hughes. It seems likely that if he does return to fight on the Rio card, the 44-year-old will do it at middleweight. He’s never been one to cut weight and I can’t see him starting now.

Anyway, if you’re from Brazil or want to pretend you are so you can make sure the card doesn’t suck, you can vote HERE.

Here’s what the ballot looks like:
Bantamweight:

Diego Nunes – Caxias do Sul (RS)

Rany Yahya – Brasília (DF)

Renan Barão – Rio Grande do Norte (RN)

Featherweight:

José Aldo – Manaus (AM)

Raphael Assumpção – Fortaleza (CE)

Lightweight:

Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira – São Paulo (SP)

Edson Barboza – Nova Friburgo (RJ)

Gleison Tibau – Tibau (RN)

Rafael dos Anjos – Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Thiago Tavares – Florianópolis (SC)

Yuri Alcântara – Ilha de Marajó (PA)

Welterweight:

Carlos Eduardo “Tá Danado” Rocha – Cabedelo (PB)

Paulo Thiago – Brasília (DF)

Renzo Gracie – Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Thiago “Pitbull” Alves – Fortaleza (CE)

Middleweight:

Alexandre Ferreira “Cacareco” – Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Anderson Silva – São Paulo (SP)

Demian Maia – São Paulo (SP)

Jorge Santiago – Angra dos Reis (RJ)

Mário Miranda – Niterói (RJ)

Rafael “Sapo” Natal – Belo Horizonte (MG)

Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares – Dores do Indaiá (MG)

Thiago Silva – São Paulo (SP)

Vitor Belfort – Rio de Janeiro (RJ)

Light Heavyweight:

Fabio Maldonado – Sorocaba (SP)

Luiz “Banha” Cané – São Paulo (SP)

Lyoto Machida – Salvador (BA)

Maiquel Falcão – Pelotas (RS)

Wanderlei Silva – Curitiba (PR

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – Curitiba (PR)

Rogério “Minotouro” – Salvador (BA)

Heavyweight:

Junior “Cigano” dos Santos – Caçador (SC)

Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira – Salvador (BA)

Cagepotato Comments

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peacekeeper- March 12, 2011 at 4:21 am
I don't see the point -- the most popular fighters in the survey will certainly not be all included. And there are a lot of casual fans who will be drawn to the site because of the interest the event is generating. No way Aldo, A. Silva and Shogun all compete on the same night, for example

DW will probably get two star-level fights in and add two more contender fights.

Here's my two cents on what a "dream" scenario can be, having in mind the Brazilian public:

Anderson Silva v (GSP, J B Jones)
Junior dos Santos v Cain Velazquez
Shogun Rua v Rashad Evans
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira v Brock Lesnar
Jose Aldo v (top contender)
Wanderley Silva v Chael Sonnen
Vitor Belfort v Okami

Thiago Silva, Thiago Alves, Rafael Natal, Rousimar Palhares should be in the undercards.

This is very unlikely to happen... but DW should at least put SOMEONE to beat up Sonnen in front of the brazilian crowd.
Bruce_Buffer- March 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm
Falcaquo vs Palhares is rediculous. Protein fight.
noizy- March 11, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Oh ok, so it's to vote on should be on the card, not the match-ups.
RwilsonR- March 11, 2011 at 3:30 pm
@ steampunk - yeah, but he pronounces his R's like H's, which means he's Brazilian in my book.
Turd Furgeson- March 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm
@El Guapo

I'm pretty sure everybody is gonna vote for Palhares. Either they wanna see this guy Turd won't shut up about, they've grown to like him do to Turd's none stop promoting, or they wanna see him get beat so Turd will finally shut up. I don't care why. I just hope he gets votes, and is not stuck on the effin unaired prelims.
Fried Taco- March 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm
@omunto - the translated page doesn't work, just go to the real page: http://www.ufc.com/rio-votacao?changeRegion=4
Fried Taco- March 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm
I voted for the Christmas Frog.
omunto- March 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm
I wasn't able to get a confirmation on the votes, I hit enter but it just goes back to the voting page with all my picks still selected. Lame
steampunk22- March 11, 2011 at 1:43 pm
@RWilsonR

Almeida is fighting at UFC 128. Also, dude was born in New York. ;)
Spicymeatball- March 11, 2011 at 1:27 pm
Shit I forgot thiago alves jesus this card could be stacked
Spicymeatball- March 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Shogun Silva
Barboza vs Aldo at LW
Wanderlei vs Belfort
Falcaquo vs Palhares
Machida vs somebody
Booosted- March 11, 2011 at 12:43 pm
Screw it, Shogun Vs. Anderson Silva. Regardless of what happens in his fight with Jon Jones!
NinjaNerd8- March 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Also, stop checking the UG for stories you can steal.
NinjaNerd8- March 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Royce has been on the MW roster for a lot longer than a week.
rogerw- March 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm
Wow, the UFC has a shitload of Brasilians under contract.
edhedicus- March 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Only 2 HW to chose from? What about Gina Car......oh wait, she isnt from Brazil. My bad!
SumDumGuy- March 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm
Did Thiago Silva drop to middle weigt?
RwilsonR- March 11, 2011 at 12:21 pm
Interesting that they have Renzo Gracie on the list, but not Ricardo Almeida.
El Guapo- March 11, 2011 at 12:20 pm
I wooonder who Turd Ferguson is gonna vote for??
danomite- March 11, 2011 at 12:19 pm
by he I mean Royce.
danomite- March 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm
he's getting the next title shot at Anderson Silva.
RwilsonR- March 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm
Can we please have Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping in a no-rules fight to the death? They do those things in Brazil, right?
LOKI- March 11, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Thiago Silva is a MW now?
I have been to Rio...does that count?
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