The 10 Biggest Fights the UFC Could Bring to Brazil
It doesn't get much bigger than the UFC bringing events to Brazil.
Don't get me wrong, I love Las Vegas and events here in America, as well as in Canada, but no MMA crowd gets you pumped for a fight like Brazil does.
UFC 147 might not have been the success that UFC thought it would be around January, but still, as expected, the Brazilian crowd was crazy and exciting just like they would've been if the card was stacked from top to bottom.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Rich Franklin wasn't quite the Silva-Sonnen rematch the UFC was hoping to have in Brazil for the event, but still, Wanderlei and Franklin put on a show.
The UFC plans to host many more events in Brazil, including one already announced for sometime in last-quarter 2012. With that said, here are 10 major fights the UFC could bring to Brazil.
10. Erick Silva vs. Rory MacDonald
This fight, right now, may just seem like a good main card feature, but both men look to be the future of the UFC's welterweight division.
When the UFC comes to Brazil in 2013, you can definitely expect both Erick Silva and Rory MacDonald to be even bigger and possibly both in title contention.
What better way to find out which fighter is the better prospect, as well as better fighter in general, than to have them face-off in Brazil?
9. Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort
This rematch between two top Brazilian fighters was scheduled to happen as the main event at UFC 147, but Vitor Belfort suffered a broken hand in training and was replaced by Rich Franklin.
After Wanderlei Silva was defeated by Franklin, it looks as if the match-up is in jeopardy, but with two men as big in Brazil as Silva and Belfort, it seems to me like a foregone conclusion that this fight will eventually happen in Brazil.
8. Dominick Cruz vs. Renan Barao
With Dominick Cruz sidelined for what looks to be a significant amount of time, Brazilian Renan Barao has a great chance to claim the Interim Bantamweight Championship. Eventually, though, Cruz will return and there is a chance for a possible match-up between the two men.
Barao is one of the most underrated talents in the UFC, but he'll have a chance to make a major statement when he fights for the Interim Championship against Urijah Faber at UFC 149.
If victorious, Barao will most likely face Cruz at a later date. I think seeing that Barao is one of the most high-profiled Brazilian fighters yet to fight in Brazil with the UFC, the fight could possibly happen in Brazil.
7. Anderson Silva vs. Hector Lombard
If both Anderson Silva and Hector Lombard are victorious in their respective summer match-ups, this fight is a definite possibility for later this year.
UFC Middleweight Champion Silva is scheduled to face rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 148 in July, while former Bellator Middleweight Champion Lombard will face Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 also scheduled for July.
A win for Lombard, according to Dana White, could lead to him getting a quick title shot. Therefore, we could possibly be treated to Silva-Lombard before the end of 2012 and what better place to host the middleweight bout than in Brazil.
6. Minotauro Nogueira vs. Fabricio Werdum
Minotauro Nogueira's first fight in Brazil with the UFC was a very successful one, as he knocked out Brendan Schaub, but in his most recent bout, "Big Nog" was defeated by Frank Mir in devastating fashion.
Fabricio Werdum, on the other hand, was very successful after knocking out Mike Russow this past weekend in Brazil at UFC 147.
The two men fought in Pride back in 2006, which saw Nogueira defeat Werdum by decision. Both men have improved leaps and bounds since then and a match-up today would make sense.
If Werdum isn't granted a title shot by the time he is ready to return to the Octagon, Nogueira could be set to make his return as well and this would be a fantastic match-up between two of the best Brazilian heavyweights in the UFC.
5. Shogun Rua vs. Lyoto Machida
Shogun Rua and Lyoto Machida have already fought twice in their UFC careers, but with both men sticking around the top of the light heavyweight division, a third match-up may be calling.
Rumors began early this month that Shogun and Machida could be the next Ultimate Fighter: Brazil coaches, but both men are scheduled for fights this summer.
If both Rua and Machida are victorious this summer, we could very well see these two match-up in a rubber match in Brazil.
4. Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfrot
Quick, one-strike knockouts are one of the most exciting aspects in MMA, but sometimes, you have to wonder how a fight would've went down had that strike not landed.
When the UFC re-signed Vitor Belfort back in 2009, the main reason was to bring Anderson Silva a new and exciting challenger. The two faced off in early 2011, but the results weren't in Belfort's favor.
A front kick that nearly sent Belfort's head into the stands gave Silva another highlight reel knockout and left Belfort wondering what went wrong.
Since then, Belfort has won back-to-back fights over Yoshihiro Akiyama and Anthony Johnson, and was scheduled to meet Wanderlei Silva at UFC 147, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Belfort has recently spoken about receiving another title shot and a couple more wins, and the rematch could be set, possibly with a Brazil venue in mind.
3. Junior Dos Santos vs. Fabricio Werdum
When Junior dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum met in 2008, dos Santos was just a prospect, but after knocking out Werdum, dos Santos was seen as a threat in the heavyweight division.
Today, dos Santos is the UFC Heavyweight Champion while Werdum has won three of his last four, with wins over Mike Russow, Roy Nelson, and Fedor Emelianenko.
Following Werdum's win at UFC 147 over Russow, Werdum called out the champion dos Santos in Brazil.
If dos Santos gets by Cain Velasquez and possibly another win for Werdum, the Brazilian fans may be receiving a UFC Heavyweight title fight between the two men.
2. Jose Aldo vs. Chan Sung Jung
Erik Koch is next in line for a UFC Featherweight Championship shot at Jose Aldo, but fight fans all over the world are calling for the potential Fight of the Year candidate between Aldo and "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung.
After Aldo's performance in Brazil against Chad Mendes, you know the UFC would love to get Aldo back there as soon as possible, so if something happens where Koch isn't ready or the UFC decides to go a different direction with Aldo, Brazil could host the Aldo-Jung match-up.
I'm not saying Koch should be overlooked, but it's hard not to fantasize about a potential match-up between two of the most exciting featherweights in the world.
1. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen
It could still happen if you really think about it. The UFC seems to be all about rematches if the two men put on a show, and with Silva and Sonnen, there will definitely be a show.
Say Sonnen defeats Silva at UFC 148; that makes the series 1-1 and with Silva being 14-0 inside the Octagon before hand, you can bet he'll get a rematch.
You could also bet that Dana White and the UFC would do everything they could to make sure the trilogy would end in Brazil.