One of the birthplaces of Mixed Martial Arts, as well as home to many of the organization’s top names, Brazil been a region fans have longed to see the UFC head back to since an event occurring there more than a decade ago. According to Five Ounces of Pain‘s newest addition, Bryan Ward, it looks like a trip to South America may in fact take place in the not-too-distant future after all…
The UFC will apparently make its return to Brazil as early as August 2011, the first time since “Ultimate Brazil” (aka UFC 17.5) on October 16, 1998. News of the potential event was first revealed by Brazilian newspaper O Globo. Reports indicate that in October, officials of UFC parent company, Zuffa, met with Rio De Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes and then with an assistant of Eike Batista, a prominent Brazilian businessman, said to be a key player in the successful bid to bring the Summer Olympics to Rio in 2016. UFC representatives are reported to be returning to Rio this month to meet again and potentially make things official.
UFC’s first foray into the Brazilian market in 1998 marked the UFC debut of future UFC Heavyweight contender Pedro Rizzo as well as the debut of former PRIDE middleweight champ, current UFC 185-pounder and legendary MMA icon, Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva, both native Brazilians. Silva’s debut was halted unceremoniously by a dominating TKO at 0:44 in the first round by current #1 UFC middleweight contender, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. If the stars align in the UFC Middleweight universe, Zuffa may look to rematch Silva vs Belfort at the (tentative) August 2011 event, reportedly slated for the HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro.