The UFC’s quest for global domination continues in 2011. For the first time in almost 13 years, the UFC will return to Brazil in 2011 for a major pay-per-view event. The show is scheduled for August 27 at the HSBC Center in Rio de Janeiro.
While fans and fighters alike have been asking about a Brazil event for years, Dana White says they finally took a serious look at the country when it landed the 2016 Summer Olympics. Unlike the rest of the world, Brazil’s economy is actually booming.
“Because of how big this is here, people were always asking me about Brazil and when it would happen and I always said it probably won’t happen for a while because we weren’t focused on it,” White said by telephone Wednesday from Rio, where he was headed to a news conference to announce the show. “But when they got the Olympics, I said, ‘Now we’re interested,’ and we really began to look at Brazil.
“The economy is doing extremely well down here. The fact that these guys got the Olympics, the  World Cup and all these big events, it just made sense. The economy has really been kick-started and there are a lot of good things going on in Brazil.”
Dana isn’t sure who will fight on the card yet, but promises that it will be chock full of Brazilian fighters.
“This is going to be a huge show for us and we’re going to put on a very strong card,” White said. “No matter what market we go into, the guys who are from there always want to fight on that card. And given we have so many Brazilian guys on our roster, you know a lot of them are going to be begging to be on that card.
“We don’t need the Brazilians on the card to have a great show in Brazil, but there is going to be a lot of guys desperate to fight in front of their home fans.”
UFC champions Anderson Silva, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jose Aldo were all in attendance at today’s press conference. Chances are at least one of them will headline.
Tickets will go on sale in May.
Brazil isn’t the only major international location the UFC plans to visit in 2011 by the way. At the presser, Dana White said they have “one more surprise later on this year.”
Dana also confirmed at the presser that Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen will not coach TUF 13. He says they’ll know by Friday.