JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil – The UFC next returns to Brazil next month for UFC on FUEL TV 10. But in August, a return to Rio de Janerio has been confirmed.
The UFC 163 pay-per-view, as expected, will take place Aug. 3 at HSBC Arena. The card will be headlined by a featherweight title fight between champ Jose Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Anthony Pettis (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who drops down from lightweight, where he was the top contender.
In addition, a welterweight bout between Demian Maia (18-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) and Josh Koscheck (17-7 MMA, 15-7 UFC) also is official for the card.
UFC officials made the announcement at the post-event news conference for UFC on FX 8, which MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) attended. UFC on FX 8 took place at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Though HSBC Arena has long been expected to host the event in Rio, as previously reported, final contracts had not yet been finalized. But that hurdle has been cleared, paving the way for the UFC’s fourth trip to the city in the past two years.
Aldo will come into the fight on a 15-bout win streak. He hasn’t lost since 2005. In February, he beat former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar by unanimous decision in his first fight in more than a year.
Pettis beat Donald Cerrone in January and was named the top contender for Benson Henderson‘s lightweight title, riding a three-fight win streak. But he asked for a chance to move down and challenge Aldo and received it.
Koscheck has lost back-toback fights for the first time in his career. He dropped a split decision to Johny Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3, then was knocked out by Robbie Lawler this past February at UFC 157. He’ll fight in Brazil for the first time.
Maia has won three straight since dropping down to welterweight, including a dominant performance over former title challenger Jon Fitch at UFC 156 in February.
For more on UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Jose Aldo)