• UFC 148

Silva v Sonnen II to take place in Las Vegas

ESPN staff
April 24, 2012
Chael Sonnen will not have to brave Brazil to win the UFC middleweight title from Anderson Silva © Getty Images

UFC president Dana White confirmed on Tuesday that Anderson Silva's middleweight title rematch with Chael Sonnen will not go ahead in Brazil, with the fight instead moving to UFC 148 in Las Vegas.

White had been determined to host what he sees as the biggest fight of the year in the home country of the champion, as Silva and Sonnen bid to settle their differences. The Brazilian won the first battle, but only after Sonnen had dominated the opening four rounds.

Since then Sonnen has combined his humour with a liking for the outrageous, constantly disrespecting not only Silva but the country of Brazil. However, the prospect of him having to enter Brazil to take the belt from Silva has been quashed.

White confirmed UFC 147 would still take place in Brazil, with Vitor Belfort v Wanderlei Silva and Fabricio Werdum v Mike Russow both on the card. Jose Aldo may also feature.

Interestingly, UFC 148 is the card on which Michael Bisping is scheduled to fight Tim Boetsch. Victory for the Brit could see him earn a title shot against the winner of the main event.

"It took a lot of talking. I finally convinced Anderson to take this fight in Las Vegas," White told the assembled media in Rio.

"It was a huge, global event. If we couldn't pull it off in a soccer stadium the only choice was Vegas. This is where we wanted it to happen, Anderson obviously wanted it, Chael was okay with it."

Silva then took his chance to tell Sonnen he had "disrespected my family and my country and above all he disrespected the UFC audience."

Sonnen's response was to pretend to fall asleep, before replying: "Yes I did - and you didn't do a damned thing. I am going to destroy him. Our skills are not even close. I am not going to talk respect like this guy. I'm going to ask, 'What is the date and who's ass am I going to whip tonight?'"

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