This past weekend's UFC 147 was an interesting event. What started out as Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II in a Sao Paulo soccer stadium ended up being Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva in Belo Horizonte.
And while some fans both in the U.S. and Brazil were complaining about the card, it still wound up setting the UFC attendance record for a Brazilian event.
In many ways, it's just the latest chapter for Brazil, and it's been an interesting experience to witness the rather odd and bumpy growth of mixed martial arts in the land where it was born. I say "odd" because even though this is an authentic Brazilian sport and has been taking place in some way or form for decades, it has constantly gone through phases of rising or falling notoriety. And throughout the sport's history, those differing growth patterns have been unique even in the various regions of Brazil.
For example, although Rio de Janeiro is now the current Brazilian MMA hot-spot according to most people (with many great names coming out of the city to gain fame on the international scene) I always say that the North and Northeast regions of Brazil are the "Jurassic Park" of the sport. You will find fighters out there with 40-plus fights to their name that no one from the outside world has ever even heard of.Link