UFC Rio: they are not afraid

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Nogueira, Dana, Brendan. Photo: Wander Roberto/UFC.

This Thursday the 16th, UFC president Dana White held a press conference at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, announcing how tickets for the August 27 Brazilian istallment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship would be sold. Three more bouts were also announced for the event headlined by middleweight champion Anderson Silva defending his title against Yushin Okami.

Also in attendance were UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, special secretary of tourism and president of the city tourism board Antônio Pedro de Mello, as well as fighters Anderson Silva, Maurício Shogun, Rodrigo Minotauro, Yushin Okami, Forrest Griffin and Brendan Schaub.

“It’s a pleasure to see the steps being taken in organizing UFC Rio, proving the brand’s high standard of quality. To host such an event is an honor for Rio de Janeiro. There’s no point in bringing just any event to the city. We have to bring special ones like this one that draw tourists and guarantee exposure for the city and everyone. We will show how we lack nothing when compared to any other part of the world and that Rio has everything it takes to hold major international events,” stated Antônio Pedro Figueira de Mello.

Tickets in Rio go on sale this Friday the 17th starting at 11:30 pm via www.ingresso.com.

“We should have come to Brazil a long time ago and we’ll certainly be back, bringing the whole UFC brand with other major events, like Fight Night. Besides being a big market, Brazil is the birth place of MMA and has the best fighters in the world. It’s only fair that we come back many more times. We had to give the fighters the opportunity to fight at home. We’ll bring the exact same event we hold in Las Vegas, one of the biggest sporting experiences the public can see. I’m positive it will be marvelous,” added the UFC president.

Considered by Dana White to be the best fighter of all times, Anderson Silva showed his usual calm demeanor and underscored the rivalry between the Brazilians and the foreigners on the card. “My opinion is that it’s going to be Brazil’s national team against the rest of the world. I’m going to give my best; I want to do well in front of my family, fans and all Brazilians.” Asked about getting comeuppance against Yushin Okami, all Anderson said was, “It wasn’t a loss,” referring to the 2006 fight where he was disqualified in the first round. Since then the middleweight titleholder has not tasted defeat.

On the other side, Okami commented on the pressure the Brazilian crowd will put on him. “I’m used to fighting away from home, so the crowd won’t influence me.” More laid back than the rest of the fighters, Forrest Griffin, who lost to Anderson at UFC 101 in 2009, gave his colleague a pointer, drawing laughter from Dana White. “Everything I did, do the opposite!”

Rodrigo Minotauro, who is coming off three surgical operations, is looking forward to his first opportunity to fight at home. “I picked Brendan Schaub because he’s a young up-and-comer. I always looked for challenges throughout my career because I prefer to fight people who are winning,” he said. His opponent said he’s not afraid to face the established Brazilian fighter. “I’m not afraid of Jiu-Jitsu and I plan to fight Minotauro on the ground,” guaranteed Brendan.

UFC Rio 134

HSBC Arena, Barra da Tijuca, Brazil

August 27th 2011

Anderson Silva vs Yushin Okami
Forrest Griffin vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs Brendan Schaub
Edson Barboza vs Ross Pearson
Erick Silva vs Mike Swick
Luiz Cane vs Stanislav Nedkov
Spencer Fisher vs Thiago Tavares
David Mitchell vs Paulo Thiago
Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira vs Rousimar Palhares
Yuri Alcântara vs Antonio Carvalho
Yves Jabouin vs Ian Loveland

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