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Mixed martial arts coming to Glasgow in 2011Posted on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 8:09 am
by IDMA Editor
Dana White, the UFC president, told reporters in Canada that Scotland would host an event, most likely one of the organisation’s smaller “Fight Night” shows, in May, with the venue expected to be the 4000 capacity Braehead Arena.
Photo of Dana White from underhooks.com
Paul McVeigh, the Glasgow-based bantamweight, is one of the top ranked fighters in Europe.
He said: “You can never put yourself forward to fight in the UFC, they come to you. But if they come calling then of course it would be the most incredible thing for me or any other fighters based here.
“I think I could create problems for anyone at this weight class. There’s nobody in the world who would make me look stupid. I’m ready.”
White first hinted Scotland was on his radar after October’s UFC120 in London, for which 1600 Scots headed south to be part of a 17,000 crowd at the 02 Arena.
While Scotland lacks a suitable venue for a “numbered” UFC pay-per-view event, Braehead would be ideal for a Fight Night, which is usually aired free via cable TV in the US and features fewer fights.
Scotland has never been represented in the UFC, but White has a history of putting local heroes on fight cards in new destinations.
With the UFC having recently added featherweight and bantamweight classes, both home to the huge majority of Scottish pro MMA fighters, Scotland’s chances of producing a UFC star have never been better.
The UFC Fight Night series launched in 2005 following the first season of the UFC’s reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, which gives up-and- coming MMA competitors the chance to fight for a contract with the organisation, the biggest MMA promotion on the planet.
A May date would suggest the Scottish show will be UFC Fight Night 25.
White spoke to a reporter from mmajunkie.com after the UFC124 pre- fight press conference in Montreal.
UFC124 takes place in the city on Saturday night, with French Canadian Georges St Pierre putting his welterweight title on the line against Josh Koscheck.
McVeigh, who also coaches at Glasgow’s Griphouse MMA gym, urged UFC bosses to keep an eye on the rich talent pool coming out of his Dinky Ninja Fight Team.
He said: “If the UFC are looking for local fighters, all they need to do is come to the Griphouse and look at some of the guys on the Dinky Ninja team. The UFC already know about some of our guys and a lot of people will be getting very excited at the news the UFC is on its way to Scotland.
“But the UFC would sell out the Braehead Arena no matter who was on the fight card, whether or not there were any Scots involved. Personally, I would much rather be selected for my talent than because of where I live.
“But it would be sweet if any of the guys on the Dinky Ninja team were called up. I was planning on taking some time off over Christmas, but I think I’ll stay in the gym just on the off chance.”