Zelaznik eyes repeat of Couture v Vera in the UK
Marshall Zelaznik has told the ESPN UFC Podcast that there will "definitely" be a UFC event in the UK this year, and he told fans to expect a card like UFC 105, when Randy Couture came to Manchester.
Zelaznik has been battling to get events to the UK all year, and he admits there is a small possibility that the UFC may still visit Britain twice in 2011. The locations for those events would be Liverpool and London.
However, if the UFC only finds room for one card, Zelaznik revealed there will be a "top notch" main event, like UFC 105. Back then, Couture took on Brandon Vera, Dan Hardy met Mike Swick in a title eliminator, and Michael Bisping defeated Denis Kang.
"There will definitely be one event this year, there is little doubt about that," Zelaznik said on the ESPN UFC Podcast. "It's looking very likely to be in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
"There's a slight, slight chance that we might also pull one off later this summer, a couple of things are floating around within our calendar that might allow us to do that. The likely locations in the UK are Liverpool and London. There should one event in one of those venues, if not two.
"It won't be a pay-per-view card; we've learned that the best way to maximize our business is to keep those pay-per-views at prime time in the US, which is our big pay-per-view market.
"My guess is it will be more like a UFC 105, which was the Randy fight in Manchester. We call them numbered specials, so they're not pay-per-views, they're not Fight Nights, but they're somewhere between the two. I'd expect a top notch main event with a solid undercard. The way Joe [Silva] puts these cards together, it all depends on what pieces are available."
Asked if Dan Hardy's win-or-bust fight, potentially with Chris Lytle, will take place in the UK, Zelaznik replied: "With Dan Hardy coming off three losses, there was controversy that he would be cut, but Joe has given me and specifically Dan an assurance that he's still fighting in the UFC. Dan's an exciting fighter and we'd be honoured to have him fight in the UK."
Now that the UFC's parent company Zuffa has acquired Strikeforce, Zelaznik confessed there could be future Strikeforce shows in the UK.
"I think it'd be great to bring a Strikeforce event to the UK, obviously there's guys like Paul Daley in Strikeforce, who has a big British fan base. It's early days to figure out whether it makes sense yet."