The UFC has expanded tremendously since the start of the company. They have grown from doing small shows in Dothan, Alabama to showcasing on one of the biggest MMA events of all time in Madison Square Garden. This weekend the UFC will be going to Raleigh, North Carolina for the first time in their 26 year existence. Their expansion constantly raises the question, Where will they go next? Today MMA Sucka will take a look into what U.S cities deserve to host UFC events in the near future.
Lafayette, Louisiana is home of former heavyweight champion, Daniel Cormier and lightweight contender, Dustin Poirier. Poirier recently fought for the lightweight title this past year, while Cormier lost his title to Stipe Miocic a month before. The UFC has made it clear that they would like to book a rematch between Miocic and Cormier when both men are healthy. Although, it has recently come out on the Joe Rogan Experience that Miocic has had a significant eye injury that may cause him to retire. Either way, Cormier fighting for the heavyweight title in his home town on Cajun Field would be one of the most epic events in UFC history. Cajun Field can hold about 40,000 people making it big enough to hold a PPV event if the UFC would be willing to do an outdoor event.
Columbia, South Carolina
The UFC came to South Carolina for the first time in 2019. If they are willing to come back, what better place than the capital of the state. Columbia, SC is home to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Their Basketball arena, Colonial Life Arena has about 18,000 seats. The UFC wanted to have Stephen Thompson on the Greenville card but with his injuries, he wasn’t able to fight. Columbia would be a perfect chance for the UFC and Stephen Thompson to showcase themselves in South Carolina. It would also expand MMA a lot as a sport, as MMA is not huge in the midlands of South Carolina. The Upstate has Stephen Thompson and the UFC gym. The Lowcountry has American Top Team Lowcountry. The Midlands don’t really have any kind of ties to major MMA unless they drive to the Upstate or Lowcountry.
Long Island, New York
Long Island, New York is home to one of the most popular MMA Gyms, Serra-Longo MMA. A gym that hosts fighters such as, Al Iaquinta, Chris Weidman, Aljamain Sterling and many more. The city has hosted huge MMA events such as the PFL in its premier arena, Nassau Coliseum. Nassau Coliseum can seat about 14,500 people in the arena, meaning its not as big as the T-Mobile Arena or Madison Square Garden. On the other hand though, the UFC has done events in smaller venues as recent as this past year. As we know the UFC already had its first event in Long Island back in 2017. That event did very good numbers and at that time the only notable Serra-Longo fighter was Chris Weidman. Now with Aljamain Sterling becoming a contender in the bantamweight division, a Long Island card headlined by Sterling for the number one contender spot would sell out very quickly. You also have to factor in the fact that Gian Villante just made the jump to heavyweight and Weidman just made the jump to 205.
To be clear, there are a lot of U.S cities that deserve to host UFC events. These cities just seem like they would be most beneficial to the UFC as far as expanding.
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