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DANA WHITE: “IT'S NOT FUN TAKING CHAEL TO BRAZIL.”

When the UFC was forced to move the much-anticipated Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen rematch from Rio to Las Vegas, there was a small sense of relief for UFC president Dana White.

The relief was that he did not have to smuggle Sonnen back into Brazil. More importantly, White and the UFC now do not have to work on a major contingency plan if Sonnen lifts the title in Vegas. Had he beat Silva in Brazil, then the safety of Sonnen might have become an issue as he has talked thrash about the country, its people and its fighters for years now.

Speaking to the media following the UFC on Fox 3 press conference at the Beacon Theatre on Thursday, White said that getting Sonnen in and out of Brazil for press obligations was somewhat of a headache. Getting him out in one piece from a stadium, packed with 80,000 Brazilians would have involved some heavy security.

“It's not fun taking Chael to Brazil,” said White.

“I'm not a big fan of that. I was actually very confident [that we could] do the big stadium, we could pull this thing off and bring Chael down there, but I didn't think Chael was going to say the type of s**t that he would say down there.”

White, of course was referring to the press conference last week in Brazil where it was announced that the fight would be relocated to Las Vegas instead of Engenhao Stadium in Rio. At the conference, Sonnen was relentless in his condemnation of Silva and Brazil, which stunned White.

“It's one thing when you are sitting in your living room in America and you say crazy s**t like that, but I can tell you, that was one of the most surreal press conferences I've ever been in.”

And what of Sonnen's safety had he won the rematch in Brazil? White sounded a little relieved that he did not have to think about that anymore.

“Yeah, I mean that would have been it too. I always joked about it, saying we would have to dig a tunnel under the Octagon to get him out of there, but now, I'm starting to believe it. He's crazy.”

A United Nations event, which coincided with the UFC's original plans for the event meant that they had to switch the fight to Vegas, but before they switched the fight to the US, the organisation did try everything in their power to keep it in Brazil.

“It's not like we said 'F**k it, let's not do this fight in Brazil, let's do it in Vegas.'

“That was not the case. The thing fell apart. We tried Sao Paolo, we tried to do it in Rio, but it didn't work.

“We still got Vitor Belfort versus Wanderlei Silva and the The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil card. People wanted to see him (Chael) fight in Brazil, he wanted to fight in Brazil, but it didn't work out. We couldn't make it happen.”

Despite this, White said that the UFC will one-day do a stadium show in Brazil.

“We will do a stadium show in Brazil. If you look at how fast that market has grown and moved, it's moving like lightning over there so we have a lot of work to do.”

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