With the long-awaited rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and his chief rival Chael Sonnen having been shuffled off to main event the UFC 148 fight card, Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort will now have top billing at UFC 147.
Silva-Sonnen 2 was expected to headlined a blockbuster stadium show in Rio de Janeiro, but the scheduled Rio+20 United Nations conference on sustainable development saw the show moved to a stadium in Belo Horizonte and the middleweight title fight rescheduled for UFC 148 this July in Las Vegas.
A legend born in the Pride Fighting Championships, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (34-11-1, 1 NC) likely saved his UFC career in his last outing. 3-6 in his last nine fights and coming off of a knockout loss to Chris Leben, the 35-year-old badly needed a win when he faced Cung Le at UFC 139 last November. A win (and a vintage one, at that) is what Silva delivered, knocking out Le with knees and punches in the second round.
Another Brazilian MMA legend, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (21-9) has been on a mini-tear since losing spectacularly to Anderson Silva in a battle for the belt last year. Since that knockout defeat, Belfort has finished the two opponents he’s had in the first round; Yoshihiro Akiyama by KO and Anthony Johnson by submission.
The two seasoned veterans are currently serving as coaches on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Their bout will take place after the show has concluded airing.
UFC 147 is expected to take place on June 23 at the Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.