After logistical problems put UFC 147 in Rio de Janeiro in question, UFC president Dana White confirmed today Chael Sonnen's title rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be moved to UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7.
"I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is that Chael and Anderson will be fighting, but the bad news is that we can't do it here," White told a room full of reporters in Rio.
A United Nations convention causing logistical issues and difficulty finding a venue forced the change.
UFC 147, which will feature "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil" finals as well as coaches Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva facing off, still does not have a venue. The fights are still expected to take place on June 23 in Brazil.
White said Anderson Silva was not happy about the fight moving from his home country.
"He was upset about not fighting in Brazil. It took a lot of talking, and I finally convinced Anderson to take this fight in Las Vegas," White said.
Silva said that he does have fans all over the world, so he is comfortable fighting in Las Vegas.
"I'm a UFC athlete and I don't have fans just in Brazil but all over the world. Nothing will change. But I will do my job as always," Silva said.
Sonnen was disappointed that he wouldn't get a chance to break the UFC's attendance record of 55,000 set in Toronto at UFC 129.
"It was disappointing. I was hoping to be a part of breaking that record. But Las Vegas is the fight capital of the world and this is the biggest fight in the history of combat. My plan was to come here, take your money and my new belt and go back to America, but now I have to wait and stomp him on July 7. That's exactly what I'm going to do."
Adding Sonnen vs. Silva II as the main event at UFC 148 strengthens what was already a blockbuster card. At UFC 148, Urijah Faber will fight Dominick Cruz for the bantamweight belt, Rich Franklin will face Cung Le, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin will fight for the third time, and Michael Bisping will fight Tim Boetsch.