Both UFC Heavyweight Champ Fabricio Werdum and former UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva have both said they’ll be fighting in Curitiba, Brazil, this spring for their next respective fights, but that’s not set in stone just yet.
Giovanni Decker, the UFC’s general manager in Brazil, said this week that while he would like those fights to happen in his country – and the two aforementioned fighters are doing their part to make it happen – it’s not nearly as much of a done deal as they’d have you believe.
“There is a lot of speculation. Werdum talked about it and so did Anderson. I hope it happens, I would be the happiest guy in the world, but honestly there’s nothing settled yet. It’s pure speculation,” Decker said in an interview with Portal do Vale Tudo (translated by Lucas Rezende at BloodyElbow.com). “Werdum has been putting a lot of pressure as he wants to defend his belt in Brazil. Anderson has also been pressuring, because he wants his comeback to be in Brazil. I personally would also like to bring those fights to Brazil, but I would be giving you false hopes if I said it’s a closed deal, because that’s far from being the case.
“Honestly, there’s a 40% chance of [it] happening and a 60% chance of not happening. We must be realists.”
Penick’s Analysis: It would be an interesting sight to see how the Brazilian fans would react in a stadium setting. They’ve been great audiences more often than not, and having tens of thousands packed in to see their countryman defend the Heavyweight Title could be highly entertaining. That said, if the UFC wants to put them somewhere else, they’ll put them somewhere else. Stadium events aren’t necessarily as profitable for them as a smaller venue with higher ticket prices, and it’s one of the reasons they’ve only done them a couple of times. They could definitely add another if they feel like it, but it seems that might not be their top option.