From a press release:
Las Vegas, NV (USA) – UFC® Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC President Dana White will be making a special announcement live from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil tomorrow at 8am PST/11am EST/2pm BST. Media and fans can tune in to UFC.com to watch the event live as it happens.
· LORENZO FERTITTA, UFC CHAIRMAN AND CEO
· DANA WHITE, UFC PRESIDENT
· EDUARDO PAES, MAYOR OF RIO
· ANDERSON SILVA, UFC MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION
· SHOGUN RUA, UFC LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION
· JOSE ALDO, UFC FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPION
· VITOR BELFORT, FORMER UFC CHAMPION
· ROYCE GRACIE, UFC HALL OF FAMER AND FORMER UFC TOURNAMENT CHAMPION
WHAT: UFC ANNOUNCEMENT
WHERE: CITY HALL, RIO DE JANEIRO
*EVENT CAN BE SEEN LIVE ON UFC.COM
WHEN: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15
11AM EST/8AM PST
2PM BRAZIL TIME
For those wondering what this might be, it's likely the UFC's alleged August return.
Here's something to consider about Brazil and it's worth mentioning because no one in MMA has said it. Brazil is in the beginning of what some economists consider to be a major economic boom. There is still social inequality, an improperly educated workforce and the country still has the albatross legacy of being not "serious". But what MMA fans should be mindful of is just how regularly the UFC might be returning to Brazil in the coming years. Consumer spending is on the rise as much as demand for first-world pleasures.
If the UFC can continue creating a mobile product - a task that should be much easier than trying to build a European continent profoundly behind - Brazil is going to be an even more monumental player in MMA than ever before. The UFC's popularity push alongside the country's burgeoning middle class could potentially democratize MMA and jiu-jitsu with unprecedented effect. Heretofore, sports like jiu-jitsu have largely been accessible only to the wealthy.
Tomorrow's announcement is about more than major main event or mere nostalgia for Ultimate Brazil. It's Brazil's arrival on the world stage as an entertainment player. That means Brazilian-heavy UFC cards in exotic destinations in the short run. It could mean a change in MMA polarity from North to South America in the long run.
Brazil may not be serious, but the sky's the limit in Rio.