Irish fans rejoice. It looks like the UFC will shipping up to Ireland in 2015.
The news was initially reported by The42’s Paul Dollery following an interview with Ireland’s-own Dave Allen: the UFC’s Senior Vice President and General Manager in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
“I’ll make a promise to you that we will be back in Dublin at some stage this year… if I can get through the contractual issues that are involved in that. I’m dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a particular date at the moment, and once that happens, it’ll be all systems go.”
Later, on Twitter, Paul Dollery mentioned that October 24th is the rumoured date.
It wasn’t long before UFC President Dana White added fuel to the proverbial fire. Speaking in front of a ruckus crowd at the UFC’s press conference for UFC 189 in Dublin, White ensured that the Ultimate Fighting Championship would return to the country; although there no mention of a date.
“We’re coming back to Dublin. We are coming back to Dublin. I’ve been doing this for 15 years. The last event in Dublin was the sickest thing that I have ever seen in my life.”
Following the UFC’s incredibly successful event last year in Ireland, the UFC have toyed with the idea of holding an event in Dublin’s premiere stadium Croke Park; however, due to residential curfew restrictions and other outstanding issues that would come along with holding such a large overseas event, it hasn’t seemed likely. White, however, still has his sights on it.
“I promise you all, right here today, if we can get through all the ordinance stuff for Croke Park, we’ll do Croke Park.”
Aside from those issues, if the UFC do return to Ireland this year, I think it’s safe to say that a stadium show in Croke Park wouldn’t be realistic; due to the fact its unlikely Conor McGregor will be competing at the event, for numerous reasons. However, with the abundance of Irish fighters bleeding into the UFC’s talent pool, the UFC won’t find it hard stacking a potential 2015 card with Irish heroes.