When the UFC first announced Anderson Silva would defend his middleweight title against Chael Sonnen in a Brazilian soccer stadium expected to seat more than 70,000 fans, MMA fans all over the world rejoiced at the thought of such a heated rivalry playing out on such a spectacular stage. However, as has been known to happen before, it appears the public counted their eggs before they hatched, as it appears the 185-pounders will no longer be fighting in Silva’s South American home or a venue outside the norm.
Unfortunately, it seems scheduling issues have forced the UFC to move the bout a few weeks back to UFC 148. Meanwhile, UFC 147 will still take place in Brazil but be relegated to a smaller arena in Minas Gerais.
Both changes were confirmed by TATAME, citing sources intimately involved with the situation. Silva, Sonnen, and UFC President Dana White are expected to officially announce the change next Tuesday at a press conference in Brazil.
The original concept’s undoing came after the United Nations announced it would be holding a conference in Rio during the days preceding UFC 147, putting a strain on the city in terms of accommodating the tens-of-thousands expected to be in town for both.
If things play out as reported, UFC 148 will immediately become one of the most significant cards in UFC history with a number of significant scraps already announced for the show including Forrest Griffin-Tito Ortiz, Dong Hyun Kim-Demian Maia, Michael Bisping-Tim Boetsch, Rich Franklin-Cung Le, and Dominick Cruz-Urijah Faber.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC