Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort

UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz co-main event victor Vitor Belfort is clearly an advocate of the sport of mixed martial arts. Even more so, Belfort is a proponent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship and it’s popularity within the world’s fastest growing sport.

So keen to the UFC is Belfort, he dares to predict that in less than three years, the Zuffa LLC-owned fight promotion will be bigger than soccer in his home country of Brazil.

With the UFC making it’s return to Brazil later this month with UFC: Rio on Aug. 27, Belfort advised the fans, media, and even his fellow fighters that they should prepare for an atmosphere like they’ve never seen in the sport.

According to Belfort, the UFC following in Brazil is quite the unique bunch.

“The message (I) have (for) Brazil is: Brazil, get ready,” Belfort said at the post-fight press conference. “UFC is coming. And today, UFC was like World Cup in Brazil. Everybody here in America doesn’t understand. You guys are going to see the best crowd of people. All these guys here sitting down, they’ve never been to Brazil. Brazil loves UFC. (The) second (most popular) sport in (Brazil) right now is UFC.

“Dana and Lorenzo have invested in UFC. In Brazil, we’re going to overcome soccer. Listen to this, I know it sounds crazy, but we’re going to overcome soccer in Brazil in three years. And I know that for a fact because wherever UFC goes, (it) overcomes everybody. I’m not a crazy dreamer. This is reality. UFC, get ready.”

UFC president Dana White, who is typically the most outspoken person when it comes to the promotion’s global expansion, had less to say about it this time around. The speechless fight promoter tipped his hat to Belfort for putting it better than anyone else can.

“Well said, Vitor,” he said.

While the Brazilian national soccer team tends to be the most recognized group of athletes in the country, the UFC has its fair share of world-renowned athletes coming out of the South American region. Belfort, Rua, Nogueira, Machida, and a handful of Silvas are just a few that come to mind when thinking about world-class fighters who hale from the beautiful lands and have found success in the UFC at the highest of peaks.

It’s no secret that the UFC plans on expanding on a global level similar to soccer and other popular competitive sports. For example, the promotion made its way into the Middle East for the first time just last year with UFC 112: Invincible, where Anderson Silva – another world-class Brazilian fighter – defended his middleweight championship against fellow Brazilian Demian Maia. Though the bout was more renowned for Silva’s dancing and taunting of his opponent, the event itself showed the company’s ability to reach out to unique places in the world and find success in doing so.

The trip down to Rio will seek the same success and likely find it with a great deal of the fight card’s participants being from the country where event is taking place.

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@Erik_Fontanez on Twitter or e-mail Erik a question or comment.

Follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Dana White Video: Ronda Rousey is the Biggest Star in the UFC, Bigger than Conor McGregor

  • 28 days ago
  • 34 views

Despite losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November, UFC president Dana White says that "Ronda Rousey is still the biggst star in the UFC." read news >>

UFC Fight Night 81 Video Highlights: Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez

  • 26 days ago
  • 45 views

Watch the video highlights of the UFC Fight Night 81 co-main event between Anthony Pettis and Eddie Alvarez. read news >>

Hector Lombard vs. Neil Magny added as UFC Fight Night 84 co-main event

  • 25 days ago
  • 10 views

UFC Fight Night 84 is beginning to come together with the announcement of four bouts for the event, which is already scheduled to be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Mark Hunt and Frank Mir.Fi read news >>

Hector Lombard vs. Neil Magny Takes UFC Brisbane Co-Main Event Slot

  • 25 days ago
  • 13 views

The UFC on Monday announced that a pivotal welterweight bout between Hector Lombard and Neil Magny would fill the co-main event slot at UFC Fight Night 84. read news >>

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 188 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

Episode No. 188 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download. This week, the guys discuss Dominick Cruz’s remarkable comeback, Eddie Alvarez’s strategy and Travis Browne’s read news >>

Urijah Faber Predicts Conor McGregor 'Bad Day' vs. Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 197

  • 24 days ago
  • 926 views

UFC bantamweight contender Urijah Faber has warned "legendary" featherweight champion Conor McGregor he could be in for a “bad day” when he takes on lightweight title holder Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 1 read news >>

Vitor Belfort vs. Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza headlines UFC Fight Night 87 in Brazil

  • 24 days ago
  • 29 views

UFC Fight Night 87 takes place in Brazil on May 14 and two of the biggest superstars in the country will headline the event when Vitor Belfort faces Ronaldo Souza in a middleweight showdown.Filed und read news >>

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane on life after KOing the soccer mom

  • 22 days ago
  • 19 views

Bellator women’s flyweight Ilima-Lei MacFarlane knew she would be answering questions about her first professional MMA bout for a while.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Conor McGregor predicts UFC 197 vs. dos Anjos: 'I'm gonna dust him in under 1 minute'

  • 22 days ago
  • 19 views

LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor has never backed away from bold predictions. That hasn’t changed ahead of his quest to capture a second UFC title from Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197.Filed under: Featured, Fe read news >>

Co-Main Event Podcast: Download episode No. 189 with Ben Fowlkes, Chad Dundas

  • 18 days ago
  • 1 views

Episode No. 189 of the Co-Main Event Podcast now is available for streaming and download. This week, the guys discuss UFC 196’s shakeup, Conor McGregor’s recent UFC 197 press conference, and this wee read news >>