We’ve now received official confirmation that two major middleweight rematches will headline the UFC’s first stadium show in Brazil at UFC 147 on June 23rd.
Headlining the event, which will take place at the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange in Rio De Janeiro, will be one of the most talked-about rematches in UFC history between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Sonnen’s trash-talking in the build-up to the first fight towards both Silva and his native Brazil are now ingrained in MMA folklore, as is the remarkable fight that followed in which Sonnen unexpectedly dominated the pound for pound best fighter in the world for four and a half rounds before getting caught in a triangle choke that undid all his hard work in a matter of seconds.
The two men have not put their rivalry aside since that moment, with Sonnen campaigning for a rematch, while Silva campaigned for him to be cast aside in favor of more worthy and honorable challengers.
Tensions will undoubtedly be running high by the time they step into the arena in June, and will only be amplified by the fact that Sonnen will be walking into the lions den in front of tens of thousands of the very Brazilian’s that he’s been ridiculing for the past few years, making this an absolute must-see fight.
If that wasn’t enough the event will also feature another long-awaited rematch which will pit current Ultimate Fighter: Brazil coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva against each other in the co-main event.
They first met all the way back at the first ever UFC: Brazil in 1998, a fight which saw Belfort emerge victorious after unleashing an all-out assault on Silva that spanned from one side of the Octagon to the other, resulting in a TKO stoppage just 44 seconds into the fight.
Footage of that fight has become a staple of UFC highlight videos ever since and Silva has long since awaited a chance to seek revenge for it.
So, two big fights slated for what could turn out to be a record breaking event in Rio if they can cram more than 55,724 fans into the stadium.