A host of prominent Brazilian Mixed Martial Artists, past and present, joined UFC head-honchos Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta in Rio de Janeiro today to announce a return to Brazil with a targeted date of August 27. In attendance at the press conference were a trio of UFC champions including Anderson Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Jose Aldo, as well as notable countrymen like Royce Gracie and Vitor Belfort.
“I’m sure many of you have seen it on television,” White explained on the subject of the UFC’s forthcoming visit. “But I’m telling you right now, when we bring this live event down here to Rio, it is the most exciting live sporting event you will ever see. I know, coming from me, it sounds a little biased, but I’m telling you — when we get you inside that arena, what I call ‘the virus’ will spread.”
Though it is clearly too early to know what the line-up will look like, White slyly stated his certainty a number of the organization’s top Brazilians would want to fight at the historic show.
“That’s a lot of gold up here,” the UFC President said of the Mixed Martial Artists in attendance. “It goes to show how much talent and quality of talent are in Brazil.”
When the event occurs it will have been a little more than twelve years since the home of the Octagon last set foot in the nation famous for its contributions to MMA both in technique and athlete. For point of reference, the previous card is likely most-remember for 21-year old Belfort knocking 22-year old Wanderlei Silva out in less than a minute and also featured main-card bouts involving Pat Miletich, Frank Shamrock, and “Tank” Abbott.