As the world continues to move forward out of the COVID era and more countries continue reopening to business as usual, the UFC appears to be picking up their pace on doing the same.
Reports started to emerge overnight from Perth Now that the UFC is apparently targeting a return to Australia on February 11th for UFC 284 at the RAC Arena in Perth.
An official announcement is expected to come Tuesday of next week, and some of the fighters already rumored for the card include featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, Robert Whittaker, and Jack Della Maddalena.
If this report is true, it means the first two UFC PPV events of 2023 will be abroad, as they have already officially announced UFC 283 will take place January 23, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This would appear to be a pretty clear sign the UFC is trying to get all the way back to business as usual and continue to host fewer and fewer events from the Apex in Las Vegas.
During the majority of the pandemic, the UFC was limited to running most of their shows from the Apex in Vegas or from a small handful of other locations including Florida and Abu Dhabi.
This year, the UFC has already started to work their way back on to the international stage, hosting two events in London while also having cards in Paris, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi (upcoming).
While a majority of the company’s Fight Night events here in the US are still being hosted from the Apex, the UFC is also slowly trying to spread those events to other areas in the country again as well. So far this year, they’ve hosted Fight Night events in Colombus, Austin, Long Island, San Deigo, and have another scheduled in Orlando for December 3rd.
With the UFC expected to continue branching back out to more different regions to host their events outside of Las Vegas, what are some areas that could potentially expect to see an event in the upcoming year?
Boston and Atlanta are two cities that were rumored to be receiving events, but as of now, those still haven’t been announced. Other US cities that I could see possibly hosting events in 2023 include Philadelphia, Nashville, St Louis, Seattle, and the DC Metro area.
The US cities that hosted PPV events in 2022 (Anaheim, Houston, Jacksonville, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Dallas, and New York City) could also see return events in 2023.
Internationally, the UFC has plenty of potential options they could look at to host events in the coming year.
A return to London is all but certain after the amazing crowd reactions from the two events the UFC hosted there this year, not to mention Leon Edwards wanting his first title defense there after he shocked the world to win the welterweight belt earlier this year against Kamaru Usman.
The UFC is also trying to gain more traction in Asia and to expand their fanbase there, so I could potentially see events being considered in Tokyo or Beijing for 2023. If not one of those two cities, a return to Singapore or another location in Asia would still seem almost certain to occur at some point during the year.
Another option that I haven’t seen discussed very much would be a potential UFC event in Ireland that would also serve as the return of Conor McGregor. If he’s booked against the right opponent, the UFC could potentially shatter some single event records with that one.
Africa is one destination that has often been discussed for hosting an event, but it still has never actually happened. Many wanted to see it happen while Israel Adesanya, Francis Ngannou, and Usman all still held championship belts, but I think the event could do big numbers either way.
One country that I’m sure the UFC would love to host another event in would be Russia, although that’s not likely to happen in the near future due to pretty obvious reasons.
After the UFC was forced to spend much of 2020 and 2021 being limited in the number of areas that they could host events, I’ve personally loved to see them begin to spread back out this year both here in the US and internationally.
What are some cities/countries you like to see the UFC visit in the near future to host events? Share your ideas in the comment section.
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