The UFC’s rumoured May 27th card in Dublin is in jeopardy with the organisation considering nixing the event and holding a debut Liverpool show in its place, reports Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting.
Helwani quotes numerous sources in stating that the UFC are investigating the possibility of holding their debut Liverpool event later this year, with talks currently ongoing as to whether or not it should replace the proposed Dublin show in 10 weeks time.
Darren Till, currently one of the most talked about fighters on the UFC roster, is the odds-on favourite to headline any show in his hometown of Liverpool possibly against Gunnar Nelson after it was confirmed by SBG Ireland head coach John Kavanagh in recent weeks that the UFC have expressed an interest in making that particular bout.
In addition to Till, Liverpool has proved to be a hotbed of mixed martial arts talent in the United Kingdom. Paddy Pimblett and Chris Fishgold have both held gold in Cage Warriors while Molly McCann, who hails from Bournemouth, has also become a top draw in the Liverpool area.
It is almost certain that any future UFC event in Liverpool will be held in the 11,000 capacity Echo Arena.
Previously, Liverpool natives Paul Kelly and Terry Etim have also represented the UFC.
Reports that the UFC are considering shelving the proposed Dublin event would come as a blow to Irish mixed martial arts fans, with just three events being held in Ireland’s capital city since 2009. Despite the UFC’s relative reluctance to hold regular events in one of the hotbeds of European mixed martial arts, the country remains one of the most influential markets in world MMA.
In addition to the continually developing talent emerging from SBG Ireland and beyond, Ireland’s mixed martial arts prominence has been recognised by the likes of Bellator, KSW, BAMMA and Cage Warriors — all of which have held successful events in Dublin and/or Belfast in recent years.
A Liverpool event in May would be the second British UFC show in the span of just 10 weeks after this weekend’s March 17th event in London.