Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2UFC president Dana White, middleweight champion Anderson Silva, and middleweight challenger Chael Sonnen were in Brazil earlier this week to hold a press conference announcing the moving of the Silva vs. Sonnen rematch from UFC 147 in Brazil to UFC 148 in Las Vegas.

The reason for the change was, for the most part, was out of the control of the UFC. That doesn’t make it any more popular to the Brazilian fight fans and media that were so looking forward to the fight taking place on Silva’s home turf in Rio de Janeiro.

In fact, it made for a somewhat sketchy situation for Sonnen, already not the most popular foreign fighter to ever set foot on Brazilian soil. So much so that the UFC took appropriate measures to keep him safe when he and White darted in and out of Brazil for Tuesday’s press conference.

“We had proper security with us,” White said in a report in the Orange County Register. “We had like seven guys with us. These are guys that mapped out the whole route. We literally landed at the airport in Rio, a shuttle took us through customs, jumped on helicopters, and the helicopters took us right to the hotel.

“I came through the front door. We put (Sonnen) through a side door. We had him in a holding room. We went down to the press conference and he had a scrum. The reporters were getting really aggressive with him at the scrum. Somebody got him with a shock pen and all kinds of stuff like that. He went out the side door. I went out the front door.

“Helicopters took us back. We got on a plane and got him out of there. I wanted to make sure we got in and out and got him safe.”

Many conspiracy theorists will take White’s comments as more fuel for the fire that Sonnen never intended to fight Silva in Brazil in the first place, primarily because he was worried about his safety there.

The fact of the matter is, however, that the United Nations is holding its Rio+20 conference in Rio de Janeiro the same week as was planned for UFC 147. Rio+20 is expected to bring more than 50,000 to the city, while UFC 147, with Silva vs. Sonnen as the main event, was intended to be held in a soccer stadium holding somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 fans.

Logistical issues such as adequate hotel space, public transportation, security, and other issues led the UFC to pull the trigger on moving the rematch to its July event, UFC 148 in Las Vegas.

Conspiracy theorists take aim… but then again, there is some validity to the security concerns. White acknowledged as much by his comments about the way they handled security for he and Sonnen just in announcing the change, let alone if Sonnen got to the point of going to Rio to fight Silva there.

“I’m still getting texts, ‘Did you and Sonnen get out of Brazil alive last night? I haven’t heard from you. Give me an update,’” White continued.  “I made (Sonnen) ride in a different car than me.”

UFC 147 is still expected to take place in Brazil, likely with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt against Erik Koch in the main event, with a co-main event pitting Ultimate Fighter: Brasil coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort against on another. It will now, however, be moved to a smaller venue and could still possibly receive a date change, although neither of those details has been announced as of yet.

Follow @KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken Pishna.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Episode No. 5 recap: 'The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions'

  • 29 days ago

Episode five of “The Ultimate Fighter 24: Tournament of Champions” opens with UFC President Dana White praising the quality of the fights so far this season, noting all five bouts so far have ended i read news >>

Former UFC fighter Justin McCully wants fighters to come together – just not as a union

  • 28 days ago

UFC President Dana White said during a recent appearance on CNBC that in the UFC, "you eat what you kill." The mentality of fighters making a liveable wage only when they produce big numbers for the read news >>

Roy Nelson In Hot Water with Dana White and Brazilian Commission for Kicking Referee |

  • 28 days ago

Roy Nelson will likely face disciplinary action from the UFC and the Brazilian athletic commission for kicking referee John McCarthy at UFC Brasilia. read news >>

What Does Dana White Think of UFC Celebrity Ownership, Especially Tom Brady? (video) |

  • 26 days ago

What are Dana White's thoughts on bringing on so many celebrity UFC investors? And who is the UFC employee that is a related to Tom Brady? read news >>

Tito Ortiz vs. Chael Sonnen in the Works for Bellator |

  • 26 days ago

Tito Ortiz claims he is fighting Chael Sonnen under the Bellator banner. read news >>

Dana White: 'I give Conor McGregor way more rope than anybody else'

  • 24 days ago

UFC President Dana Whiteis still rulingout a third fight between Conor McGregor and Nate DiazWhen Conor McGregor walked with a majoritydecision win after25 minutes of hard-fought action against Nate read news >>

Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Aren't Going to Fight – Dana White |

  • 23 days ago

UFC president Dana White reiterated that he never though Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather was going to happen... and he should know. read news >>

On an uncertain path to the cage, Chael Sonnen gets back to the grind

  • 23 days ago

PORTLAND, Ore. – “I guess I can’t stall any more,” Chael Sonnen told MMAjunkie before stepping on the mat as grappling practice rolled on at the Gracie Barra academy.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, read news >>

Dana White doesn't think a trilogy fight with Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz will happen

  • 23 days ago

The UFC boss explained why he isn’t sure the fight will happen but we really hope money will eventually talk and we’ll get a third and final fight between these two. read news >>

Dana White thinks the biggest star in UFC history isâ?¦

  • 22 days ago

Hint: It’s not Conor McGregor. read news >>