After much debate, the proposed stadium setting of Engenhao in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has been officially ruled out. In its place, Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais will serve as the location, at the Estadio Jornalista Felippe Drummond. Dana White had high hopes of reaching upwards of 80,000 fans in a soccer-stadium setting as Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen continue their colossal rivalry. However, a much-publicized conflict with the previously scheduled UN conference on Sustainable Development persuaded Dana White to worry about the availability of lodging for the many worldwide fans who would make the trek to Rio.
As was previously reported, White also calmed the nerves of his premier champion Silva, who greatly wants to avenge Sonnen’s heated words against Brazil. That fight was moved to July’s UFC 148.
With that settled, UFC officials were able to find a second choice for the venue and only need to ensure that Estadio Jornalista Felippe Drummond can support the massive 20-ton structure that the show will facilitate. While there have been many roadblocks and shuffling in the process to have a concrete event in Brazil this summer, it would appear that it is finally coming to fruition.
A main part of this was the news earlier this week that fellow Brazilian Jose Aldo is rumored to defend his UFC Featherweight title against Erik Koch in the main event. Aldo’s last bout was also in Brazil, and who can forget him rushing into the crowd after his emphatic, brutal knockout of Chad Mendes? Koch is an up-and-coming fighter with a great task ahead of him. Add that to the long-awaited Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva fight, a Heavyweight bout between Mike Russow and streaking countryman Fabricio Werdum, and finally The Ultimate Fighter Brazil Middleweight and Featherweight finals, and you have quite a card. While it will not break the overall attendance record, UFC 147 has much to offer fans and it is always very exciting when the Octagon returns to Brazil.
Further Reading: Anderson Silva feels he owed it to his people to defeat Chael Sonnen in Brazil