Minas Gerais will be the second Brazilian state to host an Ultimate Fighting Championship® event. On June 23, the “Mineirinho” arena, in Belo Horizonte, will host the UFC 147, marking the third passage of the organization through Brazil under the Zuffa management. The biggest and one of the most traditional indoor sporting arenas in Brazil, “Mineirinho” fulfilled all of the UFC requirements, rising up as an ideal place to host a show in accordance with the high standards of all the international events and marking the expansion of the UFC throughout the country. Considered one of the biggest markets for the UFC worldwide, next to the United States and Canada, Brazil has already hosted two events, both in Rio de Janeiro.
“It is great for our fans and for the UFC to be able to stage events in new parts of Brazil. The UFC is exploding everywhere in the country and Minas Gerais, being the third biggest state in the country, seemed like the perfect place for this. Not only has Mineirinho received some major acts through the years, but it is also located in a central and touristic area of the city. It will certainly be a fantastic experience for the fans”, says Marshall Zelaznik, UFC Managing Director of International Development.
The deal was settled last Wednesday, May 9, when Minas Gerais officials Marcello Faulhaber, Secretary for Development of the City of Belo Horizonte, and Agostinho Patrus Filho, Secretary of State for Tourism, met with IMX representatives Sergio Mello, Vice President of Operations and Special Projects, and José Roberto Pacheco, Vice-President of Commercial. Next week, on May 16, UFC representatives Zelaznik and Jaime Pollack, Vice President of International Development & GM – Latin America, will meet with City officials in Belo Horizonte to celebrate the agreement. They will also be joined by IMX representatives and UFC legend and UFC 147 star Vitor Belfort.
Long awaited Belfort vs. Silva rematch to headline UFC 147
The finale of the first Brazilian version of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter® brings as its main attraction the rematch between TUF coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, who meet in the Octagon® over 14 years after their first encounter. The event will also crown the winners of both weight divisions featured on TUF, with two UFC contracts on the line.
Fans will get a chance to see up close the long awaited rematch between Vitor Belfort (21-9-0) and Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1), who meet again for the first time since 1998. Back then, in São Paulo, under the previous management of the UFC, Vitor knocked out Wanderlei within 44 seconds of the bout. Since then, MMA fans have been craving a rematch. Belfort is coming off a win over American fighter Anthony Johnson in UFC Rio (UFC 142), whereas Wanderlei knocked out Cung Le in UFC 139.
The finalists of each weight division featured on the show, which will have its last episode aired on the Sunday before the event, will face off on the main card. The two winners – a featherweight and a middleweight – will receive contracts with the biggest MMA promotion in the world.