As we embark on the latest chapter in the UFC’s ascension to one of the most recognisable sporting brands globally, the promotion appears to have its foot firmly down on the accelerator.
At the beginning of the month the company held a press conference entitled UFC: Unstoppable at which they announced some of the upcoming shows and their main events.
Little did we know just how much would happen before the first fight announced at the event would even take place.
UFC 196, held the following day, did a reported 1.5 million Pay-per-view buys. Nate Diaz beat Conor McGregor, and in the process set up what is likely to be the most entertaining build-up to a main event in history, as the two look likely to rematch at UFC 200 in July.
Holly Holm, the woman who dethroned Ronda Rousey in devastating fashion, was beaten by Miesha Tate(always the bridesmaid, never the bride, until now), which has set up a number of exciting fights in a division once owned by the infallible Rousey.
Then came the recent news, that MMA has finally been legalized in New York. This legislative change is likely to set up an even bigger event than UFC 200 for sometime later this year.
The UFC seems to be going from strength to strength and while the detractors may say that the allure of McGregor has all-but faded or that the opportunity to present a Holm/Rousey rematch has gone a-begging for the time being, the roster seems to be loaded with more stars than ever.
As we approach April and the UFC’s Unstoppable banner officially kicks off, we have more to look forward to now than ever before. We are still awaiting an official announcement on UFC 200 but in the meantime we can watch as five titles are contested over a three month period. Then there is the possibility of a monster card at the end of the year in Madison Square Garden. Oh, and don’t forget the return of Ronda Rousey and potentially even Georges St-Pierre.
2015 was financially the best year in the UFC’s existence but expect 2016 to eclipse those numbers. In fact, expect 2016 to eclipse every record set by the UFC and more.