Starting with their ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Finale event scheduled for the Palms in Las Vegas on June 1st, the UFC has a whopping SEVEN events planned in the next 2 months, so the long layoff of March is firmly a thing of the past. Let’s take a look at what is in store for some of the main events and on the numbered June/July shows.
June 1st – ‘Ellenberger vs Kampmann’ Ultimate Fighter Live Finale
June 8th – ‘Johnson vs McCall’ UFC on FX 3
June 22nd – ‘Guida vs Maynard’ UFC on FOX 4
June 23rd – UFC 147 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
July 7th – ‘Sonnen vs Silva II’ UFC 148
July 11th – ‘Munoz vs Weidman’ UFC on FUEL TV 4
July 21st – ‘Aldo vs Koch’ UFC 149
UFC 147 was slated to feature a main event of Vanderlei Silva versus Vitor Belfort, as both men served as coaches in the UFC’s inaugural Brazilian Reality show, however Belfort pulled out with a broken hand, effectively leaving the show without a main event. Dana White has vowed to make a match for Silva, but creating a meaningful main event for the Brazilian market is a tall order, especially with this possibly being a retirement match for Silva.
Certainly the biggest UFC in the two month time frame is UFC 148, featuring the remtach between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen. Silva is coming in as a -250 favorite, with Sonnen returning +200. I expect the odds to stay the same, though there seems to be a cloud hanging over this fight – most experts feel that Sonnen will be hard pressed to match his outstanding performance against Silva from last time, and that the champion will make shorter work of him this second time around.
UFC 149 is slated for Canada, and is main evented by a Featherweight title fight between Champion Jose Aldo and Eric Koch. This one sees Aldo coming in as a heavy favorite to defend his belt, with the line showing him at -390, comeback on Koch at +290.
Despite a massive roster of what is reported to be close to 400 athletes, the UFC may have to be creative about filling the main event slot in Brazil vacated by Belfort. In Brazil, the UFC is playing a 25,000 capacity stadium.
Let’s see what the UFC announces this week, but the fast solution would be to move Sonnen and Silva back to Brazil. The Las Vegas card for July 7th is a solid card, and the Brazil card is on life support and needs help.