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UFC preparing events in Rio and Brazilian Northeast for 2017; Belfort challenges Anderson Silva

Vitor Belfort vs. Anderson Silva. UFC
Vitor Belfort vs. Anderson Silva. UFC

The UFC’s lineup of events for 2017 has begun taking shape, and the promotion continues with its ambitious plans in Brazil, including the first half of that year.

Graciemag has learned that the UFC, under new management after the switch from Zuffa to investment firm WME-IMG, has begun preparations for an event in Rio de Janeiro featuring a stellar card, probably in June.

Nailing down the date still depends on a few factors, like changes in secretariats following the election of a new mayor. A remodeled Olympic Arena is the most likely venue.

Before another UFC Rio, the Octagon will probably make a stop in the Brazilian Northeast. Sources connected to the organization point to Fortaleza as the destination of a Fight Night edition. Paulo Sarasate Gymnasium is an option, as it has already proven it can handle a UFC event.

According to Vitor Belfort, he will be on one of those two cards. There is also rising expectation for the presence of Anderson Silva, who knocked out Belfort in 2011. Belfort wasted no time stoking the fire, telling Brazilian cable show Giro Combate, “I want this rematch. It’s never been anything personal against Anderson; he had what I wanted, which was the title. But I think it is a fight fans want to see, and the UFC is willing to sit down and negotiate. I know they want to host great fights.”

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