London, UK – UFC Vice-President David Shaw was on hand at UFC London on Saturday night and spoke on many issues including the possibility of multiple events in the UK.
“The O2 as a destination, but more importantly London as a destination, and certainly the UK could certainly support multiple events a year. Whether, out of 42 events a year, we can come to London twice? We’re still working on our schedule for 2023 and obviously Q4 for this year, but yeah two massive events here,” Shaw told Cageside Press among other media at his post-event scrum.
“Incredible fans. The cards were solid. This one was obviously a bit different than the last one, but it definitely had it’s moments. Listen, this is a home away from home, for us from Vegas.”
Arguably the biggest star on the card was UFC lightweight Paddy Pimblett who finished his fight via submission in the second round. Following the win Pimblett spoke on men’s mental health and dedicated his fight to a friend who had fallen to suicide just hours before weigh-ins.
“It seemed like the only thing people wanted to talk about tonight was Paddy. I was talking to fans, core partners, internally with our staff here, everyone’s talking about Paddy. He brings a completely different persona, very unique and independent personality that we just don’t see a lot of,” Shaw said.
“I was texting with (Craig) Borsari immediately after is speech and he was saying, ‘Really nice to see that side of him’. Specially after such a dramatic win.”
With English fighters from other parts of the country, with arenas to hold events, some wondered why the UFC returned to London rather than travel to other parts such as Manchester or Liverpool.
“I think the simple answer is Dana was here in March and he experienced how fervent and intense the crowd was and he wanted to be here. Don’t want to make this any more complicated. He was here, he loved it, he wanted to come back as soon as possible. It was just a matter of us being able to find a night open and available at The O2,” said Shaw.
With the country having plenty of fighters from there and even more fans Shaw spoke on the possibility of doing 4 events in the UK.
“Yeah, potentially. It’s a nice challenge to have. Trying to figure out how we divide our events around the world is a constant discussion between the group of us in at the office because we want to be able to service our fan base all around the world. We’ve got partnerships, we’ve got our offices in a variety of different places around the world. There are some destinations we are always going to get to. UK obviously, Brazil, Canada, Australia. I think some of the priority markets need to be nurtured because that’s where a significant section of our fan base is,” Shaw explained.
“As we’ve got more and more athletes that are kind of coming up the ranks and making a name for themselves, having a gate like this at The O2 four months after, five months after we held the last one, is pretty special.”
Watch the full UFC London post-fight press scrum with David Shaw above.