I just read an article on Sherdog about Dana White's excitement about finally going back to Brazil. After reading this article, I couldn't agree more. Here is the article. Long story short, White is excited to be expanding UFC operations into Brazil for the first time in 13 years and sees it as a vital piece in global expansion for the UFC. He also goes on to note that Brazil has a strong fight culture.
I completely agree and my only question is why it took so long for the UFC to go back to Brazil, in essence, to go back home. The UFC was the brain child of Rorion Gracie, a man who immigrated from Brazil. Royce Gracie, Rorion's little brother won the first tournament and eventually won 8 straight fights before he stopped fighting in those early days. The sheer dominance of Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was incomparable. The world had never seen the likes of BJJ before. The Gracie's started a revolution.
In today's world of MMA BJJ is a staple. Without at least a knowledge of BJJ defense you have no very little chance of being successful. All this started in Brazil when Helio Gracie, Royce Gracie's father adapted Jiu Jitsu a primarily Judo based martial art into a ground fighting system. Helio was a small man and not capable of many of the moves due to his small size. He learned that if he could get the fight to the ground, the moves still worked but he was no longer at a disadvantage due to his size. And at that moment, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as we know it was born.
So to get back on topic, MMA as we know it, all got its start in Brazil. Without the Gracie's and the Brazilian fight culture, MMA would not exist. And it's about time that the UFC goes back to Brazil to bring those fans a great show. Some of the greatest fighters in the world have come from Brazil. Fighters like Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and the Godfather of MMA Royce Gracie.
Now the UFC is already planning another event in Brazil for 2012 when they go to Manaus. UFC 134 is being held at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro which only seats 14,000 people. On the return trip next year, the event is being planned in an arena that can hold 100,000. Considering the major demand for UFC 134 tickets, the 2012 event has the ability to sellout and break all existing attendance records for the UFC.
I'm glad the UFC is finally going back to Brazil. Now I have even more reason to go there!