UFC exec says Dublin stadium show still on their agenda, could happen within 18 months

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Conor McGregor (Photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USA Today)

The UFC has run two events in Dublin, Ireland, over the last two years, and they want to eventually bring a massive card to the city with UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor. There have been a number of delays in making that happen, but in a new interview with Newstalk.com, the UFC’s Vice-President and General Manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, James Elliott, addressed their latest thoughts on that event.

“We’ve sold out the two shows in Dublin in record time, even when the card was decimated through injuries in October – the fans still turned out and supported us really well. That did not go unnoticed by everybody in Vegas. We certainly understand how big the fanbase is in Ireland, and how big it could be,” Elliott said. “The numbers are getting closer in terms of how we could make it work, there’s still a lot of moving parts … I feel we’re not that far away, certainly within the 18-month time frame, that’s something that we’re focused on.”

There are two potentially major locations for the eventual event, and Elliott made it clear that discussions continue to happen on that end.

“Croke Park and the Aviva Stadium are two places that we’ve looked at,” Elliott said. “We’ve made no secret about that. Conor [McGregor] has certainly made no secret about the fact that he wants to fight in Dublin. It’s something that’s on the agenda.”

Penick’s Analysis: Timing issues and logistics regarding the city ordinances in Dublin about when the event would need to end by are the biggest problems they’re facing. 18 months could be realistic, because if McGregor fights in August and then November, they could try to bring his next fight to Ireland early in 2017. That’s the most realistic scenario at the moment, but figuring out whether or not they can extend hours, or if they’d run a mid-day pay-per-view event is going to be key to making it come to fruition.

[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]

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