This Saturday the UFC makes its triumphant return to Brazil, 13 years after ‘The Phenom” Vitor Belfort (20-9) KO’d “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva (34-11-1) in 44 seconds and “The Legend” Frank Shamrock (23-10-2) defended his Middleweight title at UFC 17.5: Ultimate Brazil. This time the card is headlined by today’s Brazilian striking quasi-deity, “The Spider” Anderson Silva (28-4), as he attempts to avenge his most recent loss against “Thunder” Yushin Okami (26-5) who had his hand raised in 2006 due to a DQ. Opening the card will be “Banha” Luiz Cane (9-3) and Stanislav Nedkov (5-0) who will open the gates for the likes of “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (17-6-1), Edson Barboza (8-0), “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (7-1), and “Minotauro” Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-6-1). Pulling co-main event duties for the UFC’s second trip to Brazil are Forrest Griffin (18-6) and “Shogun” Mauricio Rua (19-5) in a rematch of Rua’s UFC debut loss. Both men have won, and lost, the hotly contested UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the time since their last meeting and are in virtually the same position as they were in their first bout. “Shogun” has a load of hype and a few questions about him and needs a decisive win to show why he is so highly regarded and Griffin is on the cusp of a title shot-earning win streak with two straight victories over respected veterans.
Bellator Fighting Championships’ bantamweight playing field is set and ready to rumble at Bellator 51. On September 24 in Canton, Ohio eight of the Chicago-based MMA promotion’s top 135lbs. fighters will meet in the center of the cage to determine who will advance to the next round with the hopes of getting the next shot at Bellator Bantamweight Champion “Fun Size” Zach Makovsky (13-2).
Bellator Season 3 Bantamweight Tournament finalist Ed West (14-5) returns for the first time since his five-round battle with champion Makovsky, and welcoming him back to the cage is Brazilian Shooto veteran Luis Nogueira (4-1).