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UFC blames economy crisis for low attendance number at UFC Fight Night 67

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

GOIANIA, Brazil -- The UFC couldn’t reach the same success in its second trip to Goiania.

A year and a half after Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson drew 10,565 fans to the Goiania Arena, Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 67, headlined by Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves, set the UFC’s lowest attendance number ever in Brazil with approximately 3,500 fans.

The fight card is not to blame, though, according to UFC general manager in Brazil, Giovani Decker.

"We know Brazil is going through an economic crisis," Decker said at the post-fight press conference. "That reflects in all areas of the economy, so also reflects here in the events. On the other side, in terms of pay-per-view numbers on Combate, we’re reaching historical numbers. If we didn’t do good numbers today, MMA continues to do historical numbers in other sides. We’re doing fine, thanks."

The UFC was scheduled to return to Brazil on June 27 with TUF: Brazil 4 Finale, but the promotion moved the card from Sao Paulo to Miami. Initially expected to feature Erick Silva vs. Rick Story in the main event, the card will now be headlined by Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero.

"We will do one less card with this event going from Sao Paulo to Miami," Decker revealed. "We had an issue on this card. Like I told you when I entered the UFC two months ago, we want better cards, but we couldn’t get the fight the main event deserved. We moved this card to Miami, which has a big Brazilian and Cuban communities, but UFC Brazil will do the entire event. All sponsors from TUF Brazil will have the same rights as if it was here in Brazil."

The next UFC card in Brazil will take place at Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena, featuring bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey against undefeated contender Bethe Correia.