Fight fans were back in attendance at UFC 261 last month, and now the “new normal” seems closer than ever for UFC President Dana White. Love him or hate him, White has created a somewhat successful blueprint for professional sports to recover from the pandemic.
Momentum is gathering as UFC 262 follows suit in Texas this Saturday, but outside of Fight Island and America, where will the next big UFC event be held?
Here are five countries Dana White should take into consideration.
In the last few years Africa has often been mentioned by Dana White as a future destination for a UFC event. Now, with three African UFC champions, the timing could not be better.
Kamaru Usman is making a serious case for being the greatest MMA fighter of all time. The ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ has won all 14 of his UFC fights in what has been utter domination of the UFC welterweight division.
Up at middleweight, fellow Nigerian Israel Adesanya has been doing something similar – perhaps the two could meet for a superfight at Moshood Abiola National Stadium?
It is a mouth-watering thought, with historic shades of the “Rumble in the Jungle”.
When he defeated Israel Adesanya at UFC 259 earlier this year, Jan Blachowicz showed the world that “Polish power” is not all he possesses. His game plan was executed to perfection, scoring several takedowns on Adesanya over five rounds, successfully defending his light heavyweight title.
A future bout in his hometown of Warsaw is sure to draw huge crowds, perhaps even filling every seat in the 58,000 capacity National Stadium.
UFC Czech Republic
When your latest hairstyle becomes an instant UFC meme, you are certainly on your way to becoming a star. Crazy haircut? Czech. Crazy fighting style? Czech. Crazy winning streak? Czech.
Jiri Prochazka is shooting up the light heavyweight rankings in the UFC. His exciting, unorthodox approach to fighting and his natural charisma have already made him somewhat of a fan-favorite.
A championship fight against his geographical European neighbor Jan Blachowicz simply must happen, what better place than Sinobo Stadium in the beautiful city of Prague?
‘The Predator’ Francis Ngannou is likely the natural successor to Conor McGregor as the biggest star in the UFC. Ngannou’s profile has exploded since becoming UFC heavyweight champion at UFC 260 earlier this year. The future looks bright for the man with the most powerful punch in the world.
Recent scenes from Cameroon have shown just how popular ‘The Predator’ has become in his home country. Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde can hold 40,000 fans, and a superfight with Jon Jones would be an excellent start to the UFC’s future in Africa.
This one is a no-brainer. Conor McGregor is the biggest UFC star to ever grace the octagon. A return to the emerald isle has been on the cards since 2014 when ‘Notorious’ defeated Diego Brandao at UFC Fight Night in Dublin.
With a capacity of over 82,000, Croke Park will likely be the venue for McGregor’s next bout on Irish soil. Tickets would surely sell-out, which would not only break the UFC event attendance record of over 25,000 fans, but be the second-largest crowd in combat sports history.
The top spot belongs to Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for their Wembley fight in 2017, which attracted an incredible 90,000 fans.