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Anderson Silva vs. Sonnen moved to UFC 148

Anderson Silva vs. Sonnen moved to UFC 148

April 24, 2012

A title fight and rematch between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) and challenger Chael Sonnen (27-11-1 MMA, 6-4 UFC) has moved from UFC 147 in Brazil to UFC 148 in Las Vegas.

UFC president Dana White today announced the change.

The announcement came at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro, which initially was expected to host UFC 147.

UFC 148 takes place July 7 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. A bantamweight title fight between champion¬†Dominick Cruz (19-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and longtime rival Urijah Faber (26-5 MMA, 2-1 UFC), who currently serve as coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter: Live,” will be demoted from the pay-per-view event’s headliner to the the co-headliner under Silva vs. Sonnen.

UFC officials initially announced UFC 147 and Silva vs. Sonnen II for June 23 at Joao Havelange Stadium (also known as Engenhao Stadium) in Rio. However, in recent weeks, White said the company was considering a different date due to the United Nations’ “Rio +20″ meeting, which is scheduled for June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro. That meeting prompted political pressure from local officials and a lack of hotel rooms for such a large UFC stadium show. That prompted speculation of Silva vs. Sonnen moving off the card altogether.

In addition to the move of Silva vs. Sonnen, White also today revealed some new plans for UFC 147. Currently, the event is scheduled for June 23, but a host city and venue haven’t been determined. But the card features ¬†”The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” coaches Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1 MMA, 4-6 UFC) vs. Vitor Belfort (21-9 MMA, 10-5 UFC).

Sonnen dominated reigning champ Anderson Silva for four rounds before succumbing to a last-round triangle choke at UFC 117 in 2010. Sonnen set up a rematch with a January win over Michael Bisping, and Silva since has defeated the likes of Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. The rematch is likely to be one of the biggest fights in MMA history.

Source: MMAJunkie