One of the most anticipated rematches in UFC history has finally been made official according ot the UFC website today. Chael Sonnen will finally get his rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 147 which is slated to take place on June 23rd, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The event will take place at JOAO Havelange Stadium, also known as “Engenhao” which could break the all time UFC attendance record that was set just last year in Canada at UFC 129 with over 55,000 fans. The soccer stadium opened in 2007 and will be a future home to the Olympics in 2016.
The co-main event will feature a rematch between TUF Brazil coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort.
Chael Sonnen took Anderson Silva to the brink of defeat at UFC 117 in August 2010 only to succumb to a triangle/armbar submission in the final round with just minutes left in the fight. It was a fight he thoroughly dominated up until that point, but Sonnen tested for higher amounts of testosterone in a drug screen which ultimately led to him being suspended for six months after the fight.
Sonnen came back from the suspension to dominate Brian Stann at UFC 136, and then best TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping at the UFC on FOX 2 event earlier this year. However, it was his post-fight call out of Silva after his victory over Stann that really got things heated in regards to this rematch. Silva has defended his title twice since his comeback win over Sonnen, defeating both Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami via TKO/KO respectively.
Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort first face one another at the UFC Brazil event that took place in 1998 with Belfort taking out Silva in a mere 44 seconds. However, their careers would take opposite paths with Silva gaining fame in the PRIDE organization as their light heavyweight champion.
Silva went undefeated from August 2000 until December 2004 while participating in some of the most exciting fights in MMA history. Silva came over to the UFC in 2007 as a light heavyweight but has since dropped down to the middleweight division where he is (2-2), including a win over Michael Bisping.
Vitor Belfort’s career path took him in the opposite direction as he went (6-4) from June 2000 until April 2005. Belfort would often show glimpses of the brutal style that he used to take out Silva, but would then provide lackluster performances in his very next fight. Belfort fought in organizations like PRIDE, Cage Rage, and Affliction before finally returning to the UFC as a middleweight in 2009. Silva is (3-1) in the UFC since his last return with the lone loss coming in his title fight with Anderson Silva in February 2010.
This event has the potential to be absolutely huge since it’s taking place in Brazil and features three of the country’s most popular fighters. Stay tuned to Pro MMA Now (www.prommanow.com) for more details on the event as they become available.