The UFC have announced that the postponed rematch of Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes will take place at UFC 179, inside the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho, in Rio - instead of the 50,000 FIFA World Cup stadium.
The two were initially supposed to fight at UFC 176 but a short term injury to Aldo forced him out of the fight, and as a result, the entire card was scrapped and fights were moved around.
Now the UFC has rearranged the fight to main event the UFC's return to Rio - after initial reports said that the event would be hosted at the Arena da Baixada.
Why the switch?
Despite comments from Atletico Paranaense President, Mario Celso Petraglia, who owns the stadium, saying that a deal had been agreed with the UFC for an event on October 25th (UFC 179's proposed date) - it seems as if the UFC had reservations about filling out the stadium without a major card.
Perhaps the best chance they had at filling out the stadium was with undefeated UFC Middleweight champion, Chris Weidman defending his title against Vitor Belfort, with Aldo-Mendes or a Junior dos Santos fight on the undercard.
However, the UFC has instead set up Weidman-Belfort for UFC 181, on December 6th, which will be their last pay-per-view of 2014.
Also, the news from dos Santos that he's eyeing up a November return against Stipe Miocic, could've also been a factor.
Without his name to shore up the rest of the main card and give the local fans a double header of Brazilian talent, it would appear the UFC is airing on the side of caution - or they just not confident in Aldo's selling power?
Bad attendances haunting Aldo-Mendes
Perhaps the biggest issue for Aldo-Mendes is that the UFC has decided to book out the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho instead of the HSBC Arena - where they've held the last four Rio events.
There is a good reason for this though - Aldo-Mendes 1 reportedly did the lowest paid attendance at the HSBC Arena for UFC, selling just over 10,000 tickets, despite the near 15,000 capacity.
Instead they'll fight in the Ginásio do Maracanãzinho, which has just under 12,000 seats available but if their last fight is anything to go by, that still might prove a challenge.
There haven't been any other fights announced just yet, but there's sure to be a lot of Brazilian fighters on the card, if not in every fight.
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