The highly anticipated Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva rematch has been moved out of Brazil. The UFC championship rematch will land on UFC 148, making UFC 148 one of the most stacked shows of all time.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]The news broke early this morning although it had been brewing for about a week. Sonnen vs. Silva 2 was originally scheduled to take place in Silva’s home country of Brazil at UFC 147. Unfortunately the UFC were pressured to move the fight as it conflicted with a United Nations country. Not even the UFC could stand up and defeat the U.N.
The fight will now move to the main-event slot of UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas. The fight headlines a jam-packed show that will also feature Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber, Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin, Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le, and Tim Boetsch vs. Michael Bisping. I can’t recall the UFC having a show this stacked with star matchups since UFC 100 which remains the biggest drawing UFC pay per view of all-time.
The fight being moved to Vegas presents an interesting predicament for the main-event. Chael Sonnen has never gotten re-licensed from the California State Athletic Commission. The NSAC won’t let him fight without this being cleared up. I can’t imagine the CSAC not licensing Sonnen at this point but the fact remains that he doesn’t currently have that license. It should be a formality but it is still an issue until it is resolved.
Dana White mentioned today at the press conference in Brazil that the other fights on UFC 147 are still in limbo. The co-headliner features an all-Brazilian battle between Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort. The fight concludes the first season of the Brazil version of The Ultimate Fighter which pits Belfort and Silva against each other as head coaches. The show ends in June so it is imperative that the UFC moves fast on rescheduling the fight before the buzz wears off.
Sonnen also mentioned at the press conference that the challenge he made to Silva last year is off. He originally challenged Silva to a fight where he’d retire if he lost and Silva would have to leave the division if he lost. Sonnen said that, “every deal has an expiration date” and it appears that the deal expired.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]I think at the end of the day that the fight being moved out of Brazil will only enhance the high drama already surrounding this fight. Sonnen is already in full hype mode telling the media today that Silva is walking around with a fake belt. Sonnen also mocked Silva several times during the press conference today. To be clear, Silva tapped Sonnen out in the fifth round of arguably the greatest UFC fight of all time at UFC 117.
I’ll make my pick early. I think Silva destroys Sonnen in the first round at UFC 148.