While the interest in UFC 147 has seemed muted in the United States, it's clear after Friday's weigh-ins that in Brazil, the card is highly anticipated. The main draw is certainly the legendary former PRIDE veteran Wanderlei Silva, who hopes to avenge a previous defeat when he squares off with Rich Franklin in the night's main event.
Silva was nearly drowned in adulation at the weigh-ins, as he and Franklin made the contracted weight to make their fight official. Franklin, who asked for and received a 190-pound catch weight after taking the bout on short notice, hit that number on the nose, while Silva checked in lighter at 188.
"I'm looking forward to winning tomorrow night for Brazil," Silva said to the assembled crowd.
The event takes place at the Estadio Jornalista Felipe Drumond in Belo Horizonte.
Franklin will be fighting for the first time in 16 months, after returning from shoulder surgery.
"It's an honor to be here because basically this is where MMA started," he said. "Not only that but I'm in Wanderlei's back yard so the reception wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's an honor to fight Wanderlei again, a legend in the sport. This is going to be a tough rematch. Instead of 15 minutes, we have 25. It's going to be a hard one."
While the two shared a respectful handshake at the end of their staredown, the same couldn't be said for all of the fighters on the card. The TUF Brazil middleweight finalists shared one of the more intense moments of weigh-ins, with Sergio Moraes slapping away the hand of Cezar Ferreira as the two made contact in their post weigh-in stare.
In an important heavyweight bout, American Mike Russow will take a two-pound advantage into his fight with top-five ranked Fabricio Werdum.
The only fighter to miss weight was featherweight John Teixeira, who came in at 150 pounds for his featherweight bout with Hugo Viana. Teixeira will have two hours to cut four pounds and make the 146-pound limit.
Rich Franklin (190) vs. Wanderlei Silva (188)
Cezar Ferreira (184) vs. Sergio Moraes (185)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (146) vs. Godofredo de Oliveira (145)
Fabricio Werdum (246) vs. Mike Russow (248)
Yuri Alcantara (146) vs. Hacran Dias (146)
Rodrigo Damm (146) vs. Anistavio Medeiros (146)
Francisco Drinaldo (183) vs. Delson Heleno (185)
John Teixeira (150) vs. Hugo Viana (145)
Leonardo Mafra (182) vs. Thiago Perpetuo (184)
Marcos Vinicius (146) vs. Wagner Campos (145)
Felipe Arantes (146) vs. Milton Vieira (146)