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UFC Manchester 2024: White speaks out on date for massive MMA event in UK

UFC president Dana White has confirmed that the promotion will hold an event in Manchester which is expected to take place in July 2024.

The best-known MMA promotion in the world is hugely popular in the UK but the country has not hosted a card since July 2023, when home fighter Tom Aspinall beat Marcin Tybura at London’s O2 Arena.

“When we get a date, we’ll let you know – but we’re definitely going to Manchester,” White said at a press conference for UFC 300, which takes place in Las Vegas this weekend.

Four previous UFC events have headed to Manchester, most recently when Michael Bisping retained his middleweight title against Dan Henderson in October 2016.

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Interim heavyweight champion Aspinall, who comes from nearby Salford, has said he believes the event will be on pay-per-view in July.

“That’s what I’m hearing,” Aspinall told The MMA Hour this week, adding that the bill could be held at the new £365 million Co-op Live indoor arena, which is scheduled to open this month. “I’ll find out this weekend.”

UFC in Manchester: Event card

Aspinall would be the most likely candidate to headline again, potentially facing Curtis Blaydes – the fighter he lost to in cruel fashion when he suffered a serious knee injury within seconds of the start of their fight in London in July 2022.

Birmingham’s Leon Edwards, who is the current welterweight champion, would also be a popular choice to feature, having twice appeared on Manchester cards before.

 

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Edwards secured a second successive win over Kamaru Usman in the headline bout of the sell-out UFC 286 at the O2 Arena in March 2023.

Featherweight Nathaniel Wood is rumoured to be lined up for the Manchester event, and Liverpudlian lightweight Paddy Pimblett is also keen to be involved.

Businessman White will oversee the UFC’s 700th event this year, with the first officially taking place in Denver in November 1993.

Almost 500 have been held in the US. Brazil, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and Japan are among a wide range of other countries the promotion has visited.

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