Anderson Silva was expecting to rematch Chael Sonnen at UFC 147 in Brazil, but a series of snags, culminating in a United Nations conference that was going to cause logistical issues resulted in the fight being moved to UFC 148 in Las Vegas. According to a story on Fighters Only Magazine, Silva wasn't thrilled to not be able to try to shut Chael's mouth in his home country, but it sounds like money and a plea from Dana was enough to change his mind.
It took the UFC president 75 minutes to convince him to fight Chael Sonnen in Las Vegas instead of Rio de Janeiro and this was the reason for the press conference delay yesterday, reports Gustavo Noblat of OGlobo.com.
The champion was frustrated and insisted on fighting in Brazil. Anderson told Dana that Sonnen had been disrespectful with him, his family and all the Brazilian. "He deserves to taught a lesson here, I owe this to my people", repeated Silva. But Dana was adamant. "If there is no way how to make the event in a stadium, it has to be in Las Vegas," said the company president.
He spoke about the potential of the Pay-per-view sales it would generate and in the end, he guaranteed a good percentage of the pay-per-view share to Anderson. As with so many things in life, money talks louder than anything.
It's a little bit hard for me to believe that Dana flew in for a press conference, with printed materials and a plan to speak to the media but was still trying to work out the details with Silva backstage before the fight.
That said, it's not a stretch to think that Silva had major reservations about having to travel once again to defend his title and not have the honor of taking care of business in Brazil.
In the end, it's really about what's best for business. If it's going to be easier to draw a bigger gate in Vegas without the logistical nightmares that the UN conference was presenting, that's the right call. The fight should do good business on PPV and giving Silva a bigger than normal cut of the PPV cash is a reasonable way to make up the difference.
It sounds like Silva is also upset with IMX, the company that promotes the Brazilian UFC events. Statements in the article suggest that Silva is blaming them for the poor organization that led to the event falling apart.