Despite the event being shelved in favour of a show in Liverpool, the UFC have made it clear that a return to Ireland’s capital is absolutely on their radar for the future.
It was a brief but hopeful time for Irish MMA in the wake of the news the UFC were planning on making a return to the country’s capital. For most, 2014 and the UFC’s trip to Dublin stood as one of the year’s most warmly received shows. It was a clean sweep for the Irish on the night and in the main-event, Conor McGregor returned from a long lay-off to knockout Diego Brandao in the very first round of their encounter.
Recently, however, the promotion decided that a trip to Liverpool’s Echo Arena could better suit their aims for the year and with the emerging talent that is Darren Till set to headline, all things considered, it could be seen as a good business move.
According to the UFC executive David Shaw (via MMA Junkie), the UFC are still considering a return to Dublin but unfortunately for the Irish MMA fanbase, it may not be as soon as we would have hoped.
“Our approach to the rest of the year is it’s all up in the air right now. You’ve got to have a local partner that understands the media landscape that also can connect well with key stakeholders in the region.
“We’ve got to set up that first. Is it imminent? I wouldn’t say that. But we’re really gunning to be there later this year or in 2019.
“Stockholm in the middle of the night, and Manchester in the middle of the night. Nothing’s impossible. When it comes to Russia, it’s an interesting conversation. Barring any perceived geopolitical risk for us, the opportunity to get to Russia is huge.
“At this point we don’t have anything concrete to share but [Dublin] is always on the map. What Conor and Kavanagh have done specifically in Ireland for our sport, we’ll always be grateful for. It’s always going to be on the shortlist.”
It might not be the most positive of new considering how close we were to a Dublin show before the summer hits but with extra time for the country’s pool of talent to grow, we can at least take some comfort from the fact that it will happen at some point in the future.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena