The UFC's 5 most memorable moments in Brazil
- The UFC has seen some unforgettable moments in Brazil over the years, but these are the 5 most memorable.
This weekend sees the UFC return to Brazil – the city of Sao Paulo, to be exact – for UFC Fight Night 170, and while the novelty of seeing the UFC in one of the world’s hotbeds for MMA is now gone – the promotion visits the country multiple times per year and have put on events in 13 different locations – every time the Octagon makes a visit, a hot crowd is guaranteed.
Since the UFC returned to Brazil in 2011 for the first time in well over a decade, we’ve seen some classic fights and unforgettable events take place there, with some of the promotion’s most memorable moments happening in the South American country.
Here are the UFC’s 5 most memorable moments in Brazil.
#5 Miocic wins gold – UFC 198
Back in 2016, Stipe Miocic wasn’t even supposed to get the first shot at then-UFC Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum; the Brazilian had submitted the seemingly unbeatable Cain Velasquez to win the title at UFC 188 in 2015, and the UFC had granted the former champion an immediate rematch. But when Velasquez was sidelined with an injury, Miocic – who had won his last 2 fights impressively – was granted his opportunity.
The only problem for him? The fight was booked to take place in Curitiba’s huge Arena da Baixada, meaning a huge crowd of around 45,000 people would be firmly behind the champion. And throughout the build-up to the event, Werdum appeared to be in party mode, reveling in his role as the returning hero and seemingly confident in his ability to win.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian crowd, Werdum was apparently too confident. Rather than look to rough Miocic up in the clinch as he’d done to Velasquez, he seemed happy to strike with the challenger from the outside. And when Miocic hit him with a clean right hand, the champion got angry – and too sloppy for his own good. He came charging forward with a flurry of punches, and walked right into a perfect right hook that knocked him senseless, sending him to the ground face-first.
The fight was over in a single punch, and even Miocic seemed unable to believe it – shouting over and over “I’m the world champ!” as the crowd were stunned into silence. It was a huge upset at the time, but Miocic has gone onto become one of the greatest Heavyweight champions in UFC history – and it all started in Brazil.