• UFC London

White: It's time to bring the big fights to the UK

ESPN staff
February 14, 2013
The pressing issues in London

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UFC president Dana White has outlined his plan for the future of UK MMA, revealing he wants to stage events in the same venues at the same time and date every year.

White spoke confidently about the UFC's intention to drive the UK market forward on Wednesday, labelling EMEA CEO Garry Cook "a stud" who will deliver a higher volume of events in the near future.

This weekend's Wembley Arena card brings the UK's first UFC title fight for half a decade, and it comes earlier enough in the year to create the possibility for multiple visits in 2013. Certainly that is what White and Cook are hoping for.

"Here's what we are working on - dates in London, Manchester, Dublin and several other places in the UK," he told the media. "We do them every year, the same date every year, and we bring big fights over here.

"[The plan is] we work out a deal for three years - hopefully it would be 30 years - but we work out a deal and we see how it goes, and build big events in these places same time every year.

"That's what we are working on with Garry right now. That way, people can count on it, people know when it is coming, it's a destination. When you know there's going to be a date every year at the O2 in London, people will travel from all over the country."

Saturday's UFC London event is headlined by an interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald.

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