After months of speculation and anticipation, UFC 147 finally has an official date and venue. The UFC’s third trip to Brazil within a year will take place on June 23rd at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. The stadium, which can hold up to 80,000 fans in attendance for this event, will host the rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen.
UFC President Dana White declared that UFC 147 will be “the biggest sporting event of the year”, stating that the event is expected to break UFC attendance records. UFC 129 in April 2011 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, hosted 55,000 fans to set the current attendance record. With this event being the first ever UFC card to take place in a soccer stadium, the event is expected to smash that record by over 20,000 fans.
The historic event will be headlined by the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. The two first fought at UFC 117 in August 2010 in one of the greatest UFC fights of all-time. Going into the fight undefeated in the UFC, with an 11-fight win streak and six consecutive title defenses, Silva was expected to continue those streaks with little issue. Sonnen stunned Silva and the crowd from the beginning, knocking Silva down in the first round and implementing his gameplan for the following four rounds. In the fifth round, Silva once again found himself on his back, but took advantage of a lapse in judgement by Sonnen, pulling off a triangle armbar submission, and thus pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history.
Since then, Sonnen has continued to call out Silva, claiming that he is the real champion. After defeating Michael Bisping at UFC on Fox 2 in January, Sonnen earned the opportunity to rematch Silva for the true middleweight belt.
Another rematch that is officially set for the event is the even longer anticipated rematch between Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. The two, which are currently coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, first fought at UFC: Brazil in October 1998. Belfort defeated “The Axe Murderer” by first round TKO. Now the two will rematch in a matchup nearly 15 years in the making.
Also expected for the event will be the finals between the two finalists of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. The season, which kicked off over the weekend, features 8 middleweights and 8 featherweights vying to become the first TUF champion of the show’s history to take place outside of the United States.
In addition, a heavyweight matchup between Fabricio Werdum and Mike Russow is likely for the event.
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