The UFC is planning its return to Brazil for January 19 at a site to be determined. The promotion hopes to headline the card with a featherweight title fight between UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. The event would be the fifth UFC event in Brazil in the last year and a half.
Brazil is one of the largest markets in the world and UFC is reportedly doing very well in the country, with UFC President Dana White recently stating that the promotion is drawing 60-80 million viewers for their events.
The UFC travelled to Brazil three times in 2012 – not including TUF: Brazil – with the last two events (UFC 147 and UFC 153) having substantial hurdles after injuries and security concerns decimated the lineups for both cards. UFC 153 was nearly canceled before UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira stepped in for the card.
The UFC is likely to continue expanding their international footprint in 2013, with UFC 156 being the starting point.
[UPDATE] MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani reports that the expected UFC 156 will not take place in January but on Super Bowl weekend, which was originally rumored to be UFC 157. [UPDATE]
BTW, lots of reports about a “UFC 156” taking place in Brazil in Jan., but everything I’m hearing points to UFC 156 being on Super Bowl w/e.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) October 26, 2012