UFC are heading to Ireland, this St. Patricks day?Posted on August 2, 2010, 11:06 AM by Daniel Cassidy
Not too long ago, fans were asking Dana White which international settings the UFC President had selected as future venues to hold company events. While all the usual fan pleasing answers were given, one fan was bold enough to come out and ask how long before Irish fans would see the promotion return. "Before the end of the year", was White's reply. This looks almost impossible, given all but one event leading 2011 are currently booked.
However, according to the newspaper, The Irish Daily Star, Dana White and Co. actually hold first refusal on Ireland's foremost venue, The O2 in Dublin for the March 17th. With St. Patrick's Day being big National Holiday in Ireland, as well as a widely celebrated event in the States, UFC would be crazy to pass it up.
Such an event on such an occasion would give the company great press. While there are no significant Irish UFC stars, there are several who boast "Irish-American" heritage, such as Forrest Griffin and Marcus Davies, who would be well received on any Irish card.
UFC have previously visited Ireland twice before, UFC 72 and UFC 93. Both events brought the company approx. 1.25 million dollars. While it does not rank up there with the UFC's Vegas events, it still gains a foothold in a European market where MMA is growing at a scary pace. This past year even saw the opening of Ireland's first Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy, a great feat for a country with a population 50 times smaller than The USA.
With previous cards featuring current LHW Champ Shogun Rua, former MW Champ Rich Franklin, Former LHW Champ Forrest Griffin and PRIDE legend Dan Henderson, any UFC card would be well received in Ireland, with fans desperate for the company to return.