Although calling the announcement "a monumental one" may have been a bit of an overstatement, the UFC announced today at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro today that it would be returning to Brazil for the first time since Zuffa bought the organization in 2000 and only the second time ever August 27, 2011.
UFC president Dana White made the announcement of the yet-to-be named event in Rio city hall alongside Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, mayor Eduardo Paes and Brazilian UFC luminaries Royce Gracie, Anderson Silva, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Vitor Belfort and Jose Aldo.
Although he would not commit to naming names of Brazilian fighters who will likely appear on the card because the event is more than eight months away and injuries may change the planned card several times between now and then, White intimated that all of the currently contracted fighters at the presser and guys like Demian Maia, Junior Dos Santos and Wanderlei Silva are all being considered for the card.
White pulled out his oft-used "the timing wasn’t right until now" line when asked why he waited so long to return to the birthplace of MMA as we know it.
During the Q&A session, the Baldfather also debunked rumors that Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen are the likely coaches for the next season of TUF and said a decision has not been made as to who will helm the two teams in Season 13.
"We have not picked the coaches of The Ultimate Fighter and there are a lot of people in the running. No, Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen is not true. They are not the coaches of this season. We’ll probably know by Friday. We’re still talking to guys and figuring it out," White explained. "I started the process on Monday. It’s gonna be a secret for a while anyway. Everybody keeps terrorizing me about who’s going to be the coaches. We won’t announce it for a while anyway, but I’m working on it and Wanderlei and Chael are not [the coaches]. That’s not true."