By Jason Kindschy:
The UFC has officially announced that the rematch for the UFC middleweight title will not take place in Rio at UFC 147; instead the bout has been moved to UFC 148 in Las Vegas.
In recent days there has been a lot of discussion around the venue for highly anticipated rematch between Anderson Silva (31-4) and Chael Sonnen (27-11-1). The event was initially scheduled to take place in Brazil, but with recent news of the United Nations +20 Summit taking place the same weekend, the UFC was rumored to be moving the event elsewhere.
UFC 148 is scheduled to take place on July 7th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The original main event for this card was a grudge match between current “Ultimate Fighter Live” coaches Dominick Cruz (19-1) and Urijah Faber (26-5), for the UFC bantamweight title. This fight will now be replaced with Silva and Sonnen as the main event, and the fight between Cruz and Faber will be demoted to co-main event.
The UFC had originally announced that UFC 147 would take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the Joao Havelange Stadium. The stadium is the future home of the 2016 Olympic games, and UFC President Dana White had anticipated a crowd of 80,000 plus. Then in recent weeks, concerns grew over the U.N. meeting scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio, and the lack of hotel accommodations for the fans.
UFC officials are also set to announce what this means for the co-main event slated to take place on the same night, a showdown between current TUF Brazil coaches, Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) and Vitor Belfort (21-9).
This news is very unfortunate for the Brazilian fans, who wanted to see the UFC champ Anderson Silva gain revenge for his entire country against Chael Sonnen, who has been very vocal with his dislike for Brazil and Brazilian fans. On the other hand, this is a dodged bullet for top contender Chael Sonnen, whose safety was a serious concern if the event was to take place in Brazil.