While the official announcement from the UFC about the historic event in Brazil came down earlier in the week, Sonnen has still been quick to point out that he hasn’t signed a bout agreement yet and raised some skepticism if the fight was actually a done deal or not.
Well, UFC president Dana White is here to tell you that the fight is happening.
“I’d have to hold press conferences just to squash all the (expletive) that Chael says,” White said recently in response to Sonnen’s latest comments about the rematch.
In all reality, Sonnen will actually meet and greet the Brazilian fans well ahead of his scheduled appearance in June as part of the UFC 147 fight card.
“The fight is happening. He has accepted the fight, and he will be with me in Brazil for the press conference down there,” White confirmed.
Sonnen has made no bones about his desire to face Silva for a second time after their first fight at UFC 117 in 2010. In that bout, Sonnen was winning a lopsided decision, but got caught in a triangle choke late in the fifth round, giving Silva a legendary come from behind win.
Ever since that time, Sonnen has been gunning for a rematch, and he’s finally getting his wish.
“I don’t like Anderson. I want everything Anderson’s got. I’m going to bring him down and I’m going to bring him down any means possible,” Sonnen told MMAWeekly in January.
The event that Silva vs. Sonnen 2 will take place at in Brazil is already set to be the biggest crowd in UFC history.
The soccer stadium Engenhao will house the massive event and once the UFC configures seating and arranges everything they expect capacity to be between 60,000 and 80,000.
While White admits that outdoor events aren’t his favorite, this will be an outdoor show, although the Octagon itself will be covered. The UFC actually tried to rent the staging set up from the Irish rock band U2 for the show in Brazil, but couldn’t get it together by June, so they will build one on their own.
The end result according to White will make UFC 147 one of the biggest events in the history of the sport, and it will rival any other major sporting event in 2012.
“I think this is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. To take NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, Formula-1, soccer, everything, this is one of the biggest sporting events of the year,” White said.
UFC 147 will take place on June 23 in Rio de Janeiro at the Engenhao stadium with Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen leading the card, while TUF Brasil coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva will square off in the co-main event.