*Scheduled for January 19th, this will mark the second year in a row a Brazilian event kicks off the UFC’s calendar worldwide.
*In the main event of the evening, Brazilian legend Vitor Belfort faces TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping; fans will also get a chance to watch the debuts of Daniel Sarafian, Godofredo Pepey and Thiago Bodão as official UFC fighters
*Details on city and venue are expected to be announced in the following weeks
One of the biggest legends of MMA, Vitor Belfort will return to the Octagon on January 19th, facing off against TUF 3 light heavyweight winner Michael Bisping in the main bout of the first Brazilian event of 2013. In a venue yet to be defined, fans will also witness the debuts of three of the first The Ultimate Fighter </a>Brasil stars as official UFC fighters: Daniel Sarafian, now fully recovered from the injury that forced him out of the show’s big finale, faces C.B Dollaway; Godofredo Pepey, featherweight finalist, faces fellow Brazilian Miltinho Vieira; and Thiago Bodão goes up against Michael Kuiper.
Brazilian audiences will also get a chance to see up close Brazilian standouts such as Edson Barboza, Thiago Tavares, Diego Nunes, Gabriel Napão, Wagner Caldeirão, Ronny Markes, Francisco Masaranduba and Iuri Marajó. All bouts have been verbally agreed to and will be aired live in Brazil exclusively by Canal Combate.
“As we had anticipated, 2013 will be a very busy year for the Brazilian fans. We are very happy about this January 19th event, which will kick off our calendar for this year like UFC Rio 2 did in 2012”, says Marshall Zelaznik, UFC’s Managing Director of International Development. “There are still a few details to be settled before we decide the host city. We expect to announce the venue over the next weeks”.
The 19th January event will be the fifth one held in Brazil. The country has hosted three events in Rio de Janeiro and one in Belo Horizonte since August of 2011. Apart from the events, 2013 will also bring the second edition of the reality show The Ultimate Fighter Brasil to Brazilian fans.
Vitor Belfort vs Michael Bisping
C.B. Dollaway vs Daniel Sarafian
Ben Rothwell vs Gabriel "Napão" Gonzaga
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Thiago Tavares
Godofredo Pepey vs Miltinho Vieira
Andrew Craig vs Ronny Markes
Nik Lentz vs Diego Nunes
Justin Salas vs Edson Barboza
Michael Kuiper vs Thiago "Bodão" Perpetuo
George Roop vs Iuri "Marajó" Alcantara
Roger Hollett vs Wagner "Caldeirão" Prado
C.J. Keith vs Francisco "Massaranduba" Trinaldo
*All bouts live and subject to change