Though the trash talk and training camps for Anderson Silva's title bout with Chael Sonnen are underway, the date of their fight is in question. A United Nations convention set for the same time as UFC 147 in Rio de Janeiro may force the UFC to move from the June 23 date.
UFC president Dana White talked about it after UFC on Fuel 2 on Saturday.
"The problem is, they don't like the idea of us coming the same time this United Nations convention is going on," he said. "The other problem is hotel rooms. Most of the hotel rooms are being taken up. And we don't think, we know that the Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen fight is one of the biggest sporting events this year, in the world."
A lack of hotel rooms in a city the size of Rio is an ongoing problem. They are building hotels to deal with the upcoming Olympics in 2016 and the World Cup in 2014, but that won't help the UFC this June.
Since the UFC generally plans their events well after conventions of all stripes are set, it's surprising that this snafu would just come up now. Rio+20 has been planned since January 2011. Checking what's going on in a town before booking an event is event-planning 101. That doesn't matter if you're planning a birthday party or a major sporting event.
This isn't the first scheduling problem the UFC has faced this year. In January, they were forced to postpone a planned March event in Montreal because they didn't feel the bouts were good enough for an event of that size. The postponement was the reason for the recently-ended six-week Zuffa drought.