Who Will Fight at UFC: Rio?

Every Brazilian fighter on the UFC roster wants to fight at the UFC even in Rio De Janeiro. I am sure several of the fighters have lobbied for a spot on the card. The bottom line is that not every Brazilian UFC fighter will compete at that event. I counted about 30 Brazilian fighters currently on the UFC roster. By the process of elimination we know who won’t be on the Brazilian card.

I am certain that the UFC would love to have there biggest Brazilian stars on the card, however some of even the biggest stars will be left off. It is sfae to conclude that the biggest UFC stars in Brazil are Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, The Nogueira brothers and perhaps Lyoto Machida.

It also seems certain that Anderson Silva will headline the card against Yushin Okami. We have heard loud rumblings that Royce Gracie will fight on that card, but a opponent may be hard to find. It would also seem likely that Renzo Gracie could compete at that event. Any Gracie is a draw in Brazil.  I also think that it is quite possible that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua fights here.  He could possibly fight Belfort.

However, it seems unlikely that Wanderlei Silva will fight in Rio because of his July bout with Chris Leben. Several other Brazilians are tied up this summer and the turn around would be too quick for them in Rio. Thiago Alves, Renan Barao, Junior Dos Santos, Diego Nunes, Fabio Maldonado, Demian Maia and Rani Yahya are all scheduled to fight this summer.

Lyoto Machida and Jose Aldo will fight April 30th, so it is possible they could fight there, but not likely. Thiago Silva is a definite no-go do to his suspension.

So, who will fight on the card? I would bet that Vitor Belfort will fight there. He will probably get a good named opponent. Perhaps Shogun, Sonnen, Bisping or Marquardt. Also, I would expect to see one or both of the Nogueiras on the card. There is no one more deserving of a fight in their home than they are. I think there you have a main card headlined by Anderson Silva. The featured fights will likely be Beflort and Rodrigo Nogueira. I’d be shocked if Royce is not in the mix as well. Renzo and Rogerio Nogiera are also very likely.

The undercard could have guys like Edson Barboza (perhaps against Takanori Gomi), Maiquel Falcao, Luis Cane, Rafael Natal, Gleison Tibau, Rousimar Palhares and Charles Oliviera.  Also, don’t be shocked if a guy like Ricardo Arona signs and fights here.

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