UFC 197 had been slated for March 5 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, but it appears the city won’t be hosting that event afterall, as Anderson Silva stated on Tuesday that the UFC has scrapped plans for the card.
Silva, who now meets Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 83 in London, said during a media conference call for the event that he had hoped to fight in Brazil, but took the fight with Bisping because that Brazil event was no longer taking place.
“[The plan was] was to have me fighting in Brazil against I don’t know who,” Silva said (translated by Guilherme Cruz at MMAFighting.com, “but with this situation going on in Brazil, economically and everything, the UFC decided to abort this event for now.”
This is the first news on that event being scrapped, but with Silva’s booking here against Bisping, Vitor Belfort likely getting booked against Champ Luke Rockhold next, and Fabricio Werdum’s fight with Cain Velasquez hitting Las Vegas, the UFC’s plans for the Brazil card seem to have been changed anyway.
Penick’s Analysis: There are a couple of possibilities moving forward. The UFC may simply shift cities for UFC 197 to put together a different type of card than they’d planned for Brazil, which would make things a bit easier as they’ll have a few different title options on that front. They could also scrap a pay-per-view in March altogether, instead slating one in June, though it’s likely they’d rather skip June to give more of a build up to UFC 200. We’re likely to get more of an idea in the next couple weeks, as the UFC will need to announce a new location and main event to get tickets sales moving.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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