UFC in Rio August 27: “Today’s a great day”

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Rio's mayor shows off the belt. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

The press conference making official the UFC’s impending arrival in Brazil just ended at the City Palace, the seat of Rio de Janeiro’s municipal government. The Ultimate Fighting Championship event is confirmed to take place August 27, 2011, at the HSBC arena, as previously reported by GRACIEMAG.com. It will be the first time the promotion incorporates the name of the host city in the name of the show, as it will be called UFC Rio.

Besides UFC president Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta, also in attendance were promotional champions Maurício Shogun, Anderson Silva, and José Aldo, as well as challenger to the middleweight belt Vitor Belfort and Hall of Famer Royce Gracie. And representing the city of Rio were Mayor Eduardo Paes and Riotur president Antonio Pedro.

Following a cocktail party, a laid back presser was held. Eduardo Paes, for example, play-boxed and joked around with Vitor and Royce before receiving a replica UFC belt from the hands of Dana White.

Tickets for the event go on sale in May, and Antonio Pedro and Dana White put the fans’ minds at ease. Tickets prices take into the account each country’s economy and thus will be accessible to Brazilians.

Dana White was all smiles. Photo: Carlos Ozório.

“Today is a great day. I’m in Rio de Janeiro, where it all started, and I’m standing next to some of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world. UFC Rio will be great,” White told GRACIEMAG.com, without making it clear whether the city will continue to host the event thereafter.

“If it’s up to us there will be many more installments, and in Rio. We wouldn’t miss that for the world,” adds Antonio Pedro.

There is still much to be defined, but Dana promises a first-rate card featuring major Brazilian fighters. Futhermore, the weigh-ins will likely take place on Copacabana beach, so that not only fighters will be exposed to the event.

Check back with GRACIEMAG.com for more news.

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