UFC President Dana White: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
After much speculation, it appears as though the UFC will return to Brazil for the first time in more than a decade, perhaps as soon as August at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
Respected journalist Joaquim Ferreira dos Santos -- a columnist for O Globo, the second-largest newspaper in Brazil -- broke the news.
UFC officials initiated negotiations during an October visit for two meetings, the first with Mayor Eduardo Paes and the second with an assistant of Eike Batista, the richest businessman in Brazil. Ranked as the eighth-richest man in the world by Forbes Magazine, with an estimated net worth of $27 billion, Batista was instrumental in bringing the 2016 Summer Olympics to Rio de Janeiro.
UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White will reportedly return to the city on Dec. 14, along with four major Brazilian UFC stars, and could close the deal then.
Although he publicly stated that returning to Brazil was not a top priority -- efforts were focused on China and India -- it appears White altered his stance once the country was chosen as the host for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The promotion has not held an event inside Brazil since UFC 17.5, which was highlighted by Vitor Belfort’s 44-second knockout of Wanderlei Silva in 1998.