Since Anderson Silva Vs Chael Sonnen 2 was first announced the UFC have stated that the fight will take place in a soccer stadium in Brazil, but according to new rumors emerging from the country it’s possible the middleweight title fight may end up in Las Vegas instead.
Originally the stadium event was expected to take place in Sao Paulo, but that idea was scrapped due to concerns over noise levels which have to be below a certain limit after 10pm at night in the city.
The promotion then set their sights on a return to Rio where they’ve already held two successful shows in the past year and targeted the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange stadium which they hoped would enable them to smash their current attendance records.
however, last week UFC president Dana White revealed that they were now encountering problems in Rio as well due to the fact that the event’s expected date on June 23rd lands on the same weekend as a major United Nations Conference in the city. Apparently concerns have been raised over the idea of a UFC event happening at the same time, plus it also brings logistical issues such as finding enough hotel rooms to accomodate everyone.
At the time White admitted that he wasn’t sure how this was all going to pan out, but had indicated that there was the possibility that the event could be shifted to either a week earlier or later if required – but it’s a fluid situation and it could now be that new plans are being drawn up.
Speaking to the TATAME site on Monday, BlackHouse manager Jorge Guimaraes confirmed that there are now major concerns over the possibility of the fight being held in Rio.
“There are some speculations. What you heard, I heard too. It seems like there are no hotels to fit everybody with UN’s event, Rio+20.”
Now ‘O Globo’ have gone one step further and are reporting that the event may end up being staged back in the U.S instead, fronting the UFC 148 show on July 7th which had originally been expected to be headlined by TUF coaches Urijah Faber and Dominick Cruz’s bantamweight title bout.
If true it would be a big blow for the UFC and a significant step down from a stadium sized show which White had been bodly claiming was going to be “one of the sporting events of the year.”
On the other hand, if there is a silver lining to this particular cloud it’d be that it would allow the UFC to body swerve any possibility that Chael Sonnen’s presence in Brazil after having used the country as the butt of of his jokes in the past couple of years may lead to concerns over his safety on fight night.
It should be stressed however that at this moment in time there’s no official confirmation that the venue is being changed, so let’s see how the UFC responds to these rumors in the coming days.