Brazil is the international expansion success story to end all international expansion success stories. The UFC arrived to find a country ready to embrace the sport it created and currently dominates, with massive crowds and talk that one day mixed martial arts may become even bigger than soccer. Sure, that’s crazy talk. But it just goes to show you how hot and heavy people down there are for MMA right now. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the UFC is looking to get back into the stadium game.
But which stadium? Brazil probably has more soccer stadiums than Canada has hockey rinks, leaving a wide variety of locations to choose from. Here’s the list Grand Admiral Zelaznik (still a Zuffa employee!) put forward as possibilities…
Joao Havelange Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, aka the one Silva vs Sonnen II almost happened in. Capacity 46,941
Estadio Palestra Italia in Sao Paulo, capacity 27,650
Estadio Jose Pinheiro Borda in Porto Algre, capacity 56,000
The granddaddy of all stadiums, the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Capacity 78,838. Largest audience: 199,854