Sonnen vs. Silva official for UFC 147
Mar 26, 2012 - by Steve Gerweck
THE UFC® PREPARES TO HOST BIGGEST SPORTING EVENT IN UFC HISTORY AT JOAO HAVELANGE STADIUM IN RIO
MAIN CARD FEATURES SHOWDOWNS BETWEEN LEGENDS OF THE SPORT:
ANDERSON SILVA vs. CHAEL SONNEN
VITOR BELFORT vs. WANDERLEI SILVA
Tickets on Sale in May
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® will return to Brazil for an epic sporting event as legendary fighters collide on the biggest fight card in UFC® history at UFC®147 at Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 23, 2012. The largest crowd ever is expected for the highly anticipated rematch between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and American contender Chael Sonnen, a grudge match two years in the making. The event also features a live finale of The Ultimate Fighter Brasil™, the showdown between two Brazilians and icons of the sport – coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva.
From the beginning of the negotiations for the UFC’s next event in the country, the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both emerged as strong options to host the event. Engenhao, home to football club Botafogo and future venue for the 2016 Olympics, has hosted many legendary sports and entertainment events since its opening in 2007. The event marks the first time for a UFC event in a soccer stadium and the organization expects a record audience. The mark to beat is UFC 129, held in April of 2011 at Rogers Centre in Canada, which had a record attendance of 55,000 fans.
“This will be the biggest sporting event of the year” said UFC President Dana White. “Bigger than the NFL, the NBA, you name it – UFC 147 will be the biggest. The whole world wants to see this fight between Silva and Sonnen. We are broadcast in over 150 countries in 22 languages in half a billion homes. Wherever those fans are, they are going to be watching this fight.”
The rivalry between Anderson Silva (29-4-0) and Chael Sonnen (28-11-1) has produced the biggest grudge match in UFC history. The two bitter rivals first faced each other in August of 2010 at UFC 117 in Oakland, California. The battle featured arguably the biggest come-from-behind win ever; as Silva, who was being dominated from the beginning of the fight, submitted his American rival with a triangle choke in the last round. It was the seventh of nine title defenses for the Brazilian champion.
In what has been one of the long-awaited rematches in UFC history, Brazilian fans will also get a chance to witness Vitor Belfort (21-9-0) and Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) square off in the Octagon®. In their first meeting in 1998 in São Paulo, Belfort knocked out Silva 44 seconds into their fight. Since then, MMA fans have eagerly waited for over 10 years to witness the rematch between two legends of the sport. Belfort is coming off of a win over American fighter Anthony Johnson in UFC Rio (UFC 142), while Wanderlei dramatically knocked out opponent Cung Le at UFC 139.
More information regarding on-sale dates for UFC147 and the fight card will be announced next month. For more information and up-to-date news on ticket on-sale dates, visit br.ufc.com.
All bouts live and subject to change.
About the Ultimate Fighting Championship®:
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and with offices in London, England, Toronto, Canada and Beijing, China, UFC produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world.
The world’s largest Pay-Per-View provider, UFC programming, including company’s famed The Ultimate Fighter series, is distributed on the FOX Network and PPV in the United States and on Rede Globo and the Combate Channel in Brazil.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is available in over 150 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 22 different languages. The UFC also connects with over 10 million fans through UFC.com as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly two million followers on Twitter.
Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, and action figures.
Brazilian fans have access to exclusive content in Portuguese at UFC.com www.br.ufc.com, at facebook.com/UFCBrasil, and on Twitter @ufc_Brasil.