London, England — The UFC has made trips to London, England four times in the past eighteen months, noted UFC VP of International and Content David Shaw following Saturday’s UFC London.
The twice-yearly time frame is expected to continue, noted Shaw — but future visits may not be entirely centered around London.
“I think we’re going to continue with two a year, at a minimum. I think what we’re probably going to do in 2024 is move outside of London for one of the fights,” Shaw told Cageside Press following the fight. “I don’t think we’re going to have two fights per year in London, but you never know what Dana [White] wants to do, depending on who’s holding the belt and where people are ranked.”
There are a number of locations on the radar, Shaw went on to add. “I wouldn’t be surprised if— it’s been a while since we’ve been in Glasgow, it’s been a while since we’ve been in Manchester. We want to get back to Dublin [Ireland]. There’s a lot of places we want to go. Expect that to take on a slightly different complexion next year.”
Dublin, meanwhile, is at the top of the list, with a big anniversary coming up soon: next July will be a decade since Conor McGregor headlined Dublin against Diego Bradao, early in the Irish star’s rise up the featherweight ranks.
“It was pointed out earlier on by one of our key media guys that next July will mark 10 years since the Conor fight. Top of the list, for sure,” stated Shaw. “We want to get back, we want to get back at some point, just not sure when.”
Regardless of locale, however, there remains a hesitancy on the part of the UFC to move out of arenas and into larger stadiums. Despite the success of UFC 286 in March and this past Saturday’s card, which saw Tom Aspinall triumph over Marcin Tybura.
“I think generally, sticking to areas unless there’s some special circumstances. Stadiums are tough,” said Shaw, noting that the promotion has only held stadium shows a handful of times. “They’re tough, they’re big, they’re not the best viewing experience. But it’s fitting for when the stars align, you’ve got the right fights, the right moment in our calendar, and we can de-risk in terms of production costs, if there’s availability of some sort of local support, government support. It might make it a bit more manageable. But for us, the sweet sport is an arena with 15,000 people.”
Watch the full UFC London post-fight press conference with David Shaw above.