For the first time since 2009, the octagon will head to Columbus, for a Fight Night event this March.
The UFC is heading back to Columbus, Ohio after an extended absence. On Thursday, the promotion announced a trip to the Ohio capital, its first in eleven years. The card, which has not had any fights announced, will be a Fight Night event.
🗣 O – H !
— UFC (@ufc) December 12, 2019
The event, expected to be UFC Fight Night 171 (Note: with the addition of a date in Norfolk, VA this could be UFC FN 172, or an ESPN card), will take place March 28, 2020 at the Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. Tickets for the event will go on sale January 31.
The last time the promotion visited Columbus, Rampage Jackson vs. Keith Jardine headlined the card — UFC 96 to be exact. That show, which featured Shane Carwin vs. Gabriel Gonzaga in the co-main event, drew 17,033 spectators at the very same venue. It was the third of three shows to be held at the Nationwide Arena between 2007 and 2009, with the other two being UFC 68 and 82.
While Dana White’s company ended its run in Columbus in 2009, WEC 47 touched down in Columbus in 2010. Ultimate Fighting Championship, meanwhile, last visited the state of Ohio in 2016, when it hosted UFC 203: Miocic vs. Overeem in Stipe Miocic‘s backyard, a.k.a. Cleveland.
Strikeforce also hosted a key event in the city in 2012. Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey saw burgeoning star Ronda Rousey capture the bantamweight title against rival Miesha Tate on March 3, 2012.
Though Miocic, a member of Cleveland’s Strong Style gym, is being targeted for a rubber match with Daniel Cormier later this year, don’t expect that fight on an ESPN+ card, which UFC Columbus is expected to be. Instead, fights are likely to be announced in the coming weeks, with at least a couple of local talents populating the line-up.
Update, 12/13/2019, 3:00PM ET: Updated re. the Norfolk card on February 29, 2020