We are at a lull period in the UFC schedule in terms of quality fight cards, mostly due to the UFC loading up UFC 267, so it has us all reminiscing on the better times of the UFC.
UFC Venues That Delivered With a Bang
Remember when the only things we had to worry about as an MMA or UFC fan was the simple stuff like who is Joe Rogan going to hype up at a small UFC fight night event? What about when we had so few interim title fights? Heavyweights who were one-dimensional? Maybe not that last one.
What about when we were introducing ourselves to betting and we all were learning the intricacies of how to bet on MMA as sports gambling spread across the country in a legal way, of course?
What about when the UFC actually went to places instead of just Fight Island, The Apex, Houston, and Las Vegas? We have the UFC going to The Garden in New York City in November but what about some other cities? So many venues are not being utilized the way they should and the UFC is missing out on so much revenue from fans.
We see the NFL and college football having no issue filling stadiums with anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 fans on any given weekend so it has us thinking, what venues should the UFC utilize in 2022?
Let’s give you some ideas, shall we?
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The building that Georges St-Pierre made famous for MMA fans, the return he had to get his title back against Matt Serra at UFC 83. The crowd was loud as ever and was a strong enough atmosphere that Dana White and the UFC would come back with St-Pierre three more times for his title defense against Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz, and Carlos Condit.
Each and every time the crowd set the tone for the entire event, with the UFC lacking a strong Canadian star at the present moment it would be a prime opportunity to do an event headlined by some more established stars but then bring on some younger talented Canadian fighters to get some shine. On St-Pierre’s undercard had names like T.J. Grant, Mark Hominick, and Jordan Mein who all were seen as solid prospects or respectable names in the Canadian MMA scene.
The Forum, Los Angeles, California
The UFC has been to The Forum on two occasions, both have been fairly recent, for UFC 199 and UFC 232. 199 was host to the historic Michael Bisping title win over Luke Rockhold and for UFC 232 it was the emergency host for Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson after the positive test Jones had pre-fight.
The Forum though is a historic home for boxing matches and of course was host to the Showtime Lakers teams that Magic Johnson led and while it is an older venue it is still a historic venue not just in sporting history but American history.
Can we imagine for a second what a Nick or Nate Diaz fight would be like in that place? The roar and reaction they would get in that place? Double book them and enjoy that free money, Dana White.
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
UFC 118 was booked at The Garden to celebrate the legalisation of MMA in the state of Massachusetts and it was a…memorable event. It hosted the rematch of Frankie Edgar and B.J. Penn but more notably had the infamously one-sided matchup of Randy Couture and James Toney. While that event may be memorable for its uniqueness it was the follow-up events that were a blast for New Englanders and fight fans alike.
The Garden hosted Conor McGregor and Max Hollaway back in 2013 where McGregor would win and unfortunately tear his ACL in which would result in his epic Dublin event as a comeback. It also played host to McGregor’s last fight before becoming champion against Dennis Siver and then had the first matchup of Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou that Miocic won and cemented himself as one of the heavyweight GOATs.
These are just three places but there are so many more that need to be stopped at but from a historical standpoint, and as a way to get back to some normalcy, these venues should be at the top of the UFC’s wishlist.