The UFC is returning to Brazil for the first time since October 16, 1996 this coming August, and today many of the main card fighters joined UFC President Dana White on stage in Rio de Janiero to discuss the event.
Anderson Silva, Shogun Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira joined Yushin Okami and American counterparts Brendan Schaub and Forrest Griffin for the event. UFC President Dana White was also in attendance.
White announced that over 16,000 tickets will be available for the event. Prices range from just over $1000 American for the most expensive tickets, while the cheapest fall in the $163 range.
White said the UFC will return to Brazil for more events, including smaller Fight Night events that are not televised on pay per view.
Okami was the last man to beat Silva – albeit via disqualification – at a 2006 Rumble on the Rock event in Hawaii. Silva was disqualified from the fight when he landed an illegal upkick. It was a fight Silva contends he did not lose. Okami said he plans to do the same thing and become an idol in Brazil, but White says he has a difficult task ahead of him.
“This is the greatest pound for pound fighter in the sport. He’s the greatest fighter in the history of mixed martial arts,” White said. “He’s flying to the United States tomorrow to make an Old Spice commercial and he’s talking to Burger King about doing some stuff with them. He’s a very big star.”
When asked if he had any advice for Okami, Forrest Griffin kept it short and sweet: “Whatever I did, don’t do that,” he said.
Silva said that fighting on the first Brazilian card in over a decade was a point of pride, and that he and his fellow countrymen are taking it quite seriously. “In my opinion, me and my colleagues, this is the Brazilian team,” Silva said. “Like the Brazilian soccer team against the world. I’m very happy to be here in Brazil. It’s motivation.”
The suspect Brazilian media even got into the rivalry, repeatedly telling Silva that they “love him” and urging him to defeat Okami for the good of their country.
Nogueira will be making his return to the Octagon for the first time since October 2010, when he lost to eventual heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez by knockout. Nogueira has spent a large majority of his time working with fellow Black House members including Silva, top heavyweight contender Junior dos Santos and UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. The middleweight champion believes that Nogueira’s vaunted jiu-jitsu game is going to give Schaub major problems on the ground.
“He is a good trainer. He made me feel like a white belt yesterday,” Silva said.
Tickets for UFC 134: Rio go on sale tonight night for HSBC members in Brazil. The rest of the world will have their opportunity to purchase tickets beginning on June 17.
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