In the not-too-distant past this weekend was attached to an epic UFC event in Rio de Janeiro aimed at filling an 80,000-seat soccer stadium. While scheduling issues forced the organization to reconsider its plans, instead opting for a smaller venue and less-epic lineup for UFC 147, it looks like the UFC hasn’t given up hopes of another major show in the shadow of Cristo Redentor before the end of 2012.
According to UFC Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik, the company has targeted October for a return to Rio. While the show may not involve an attempt at breaking any attendance records, it is expected the HSBC Arena will host the card meaning it will at least be on par with the UFC’s previous significant stops in Brazil.
“The growth of the UFC here is based on the foundation of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and a real foundation for this sport in this country. The icons, the Brazilian fighters, and the champions, have put the UFC in a great position for success,” explained Zelaznik, also pointing to the overwhelming popularity of TUF Brasil.
No fighters have been attached to the event, expected to be labeled as UFC 153, though featherweight champion Jose Aldo is expected to be back from injury around the same time period. Another possible headliner given the date could involve the rematch between heavyweight title-holder Junior dos Santos and top challenger Cain Velasquez, currently rumored to take place at UFC 152.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC